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OP here: How could the conduit have transported Sheppard & team to the Citadel if the arms were closed? I mean, it's not a Stargate, Relays transport you between two locations in real space, so they should have collided with the Citadel's outer hull. Likewise how could anyone have survived the massive acceleration? I mean, in ships travelling through relays, it's understandable, as they have inertial dampeners. Is it ever explained?

  1. Regarding problems with solids - we have observed relay-like biotic powers that allow you to step trough walls, so I suppose it is canonically possible.
  2. Regarding acceleration - to quote GLaDOS, "Speedy thing comes in, speedy thing comes out". There is no acceleration relative to the ship's frame of reference, from what I can see. Inertial dampeners are for non-FTL maneuvering.

MA4585159 (talk)

While the nature of mass relay transit is carefully left imprecise by the in-game codex, it does drop some loud hints. In particular:

  1. The nature of relays is point to point (or, since secondary relays can be relinked, point to multipoint).
  2. "Mass relays function by creating a virtually mass-free "corridor" of space-time between each other." (From the Codex)
  3. They require a core of exotic material (eezo, "Element Zero" ie. non-baryonic matter) to work.

All these strongly imply that the relays work by generating a wormhole between the relay endpoints. Kip Thorne, for example, calculated forty years ago that a wormhole could be formed by exotic matter.

So I'm wondering where the original poster got the idea that "it's not a Stargate". Such a wormhole would indeed be a Stargate, able to completely bypass the closed Citadel walls, for example, unlike traditional FTL. Likewise, since wormholes tunnel between different points in Minkowski space-time, they don't require travel at relativistic speeds; in particular, they do not even need the accelerations associated with 'conventional' conceptions of FTL This then is an example of a plothole which on closer examination turns out to be good science. SDoradus (talk)

OP here. Yes, I know Stargates create wormholes, but I apparently didn't know enough about ME that Mass Relays do the same. All I thought was that Mass Relays simply create a path between them that allows ships to travel much faster than conventional FTL. Guess I'm not such a big ME nerd as you guys ;).
We've never said how fast. It's basically a teleport; I also thought the mass-free corridor may be infinitely small and would let you pass through technically solid matter, but I knew Doradus would make it sound more plausible. But now that we accept that it's a wormhole... Whoa. That makes a Vanguard a walking wormhole generator. - MA4585159 (talk) P.S. Having an account makes it easier.

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