This is the first stage of space-time travel. The Molecular Dematerialization Codes are needed to activate the laser trigger found inside the Dematerialization Circuit. The Symbiotic Relationship Circuits automatically input these codes if the operator is a Time Lord. It might be possible to bypass the codes and activate the laser trigger using a Light Accelerator. Once the circuit is activated Dematerialization begins with the sublaminar processes being modulated by a stepped series of quantum-depolarized frabjastanic couplings. The resulting gravimetric packets are then filtered through a reciprocating Brantix-Wankel amulator to convert their subneutronic spin from anticlockwise to inside out. This is necessary because the only way to enter the Vortex is by slipping through the cracks between one moment of time and the next. During the dematerialization phase the Relative Dimensional Stabilizer can be heard outside and, if the operator leaves the brake on, on the inside as well. Many Exo-Shell disguises are equipped with a Materialization Beacon which indicates both dematerialization and rematerializations. The Beacon can also be set to illuminate when there is one or more sapient being inside.
The TARDIS can take part of the surrounding environment with it when it dematerializes, but this requires some skill to accomplish reliably. The operator must use the dials beneath the console's dematerialization array to extend the Ionic Time Field. This is done by matching it to the energy signature of a nearby object. If that object's energy signature has been locked on to the TARDIS's engines then it is possible to take that object with the TARDIS during vortex travel and drop it in a new Time Zone. It is possible to move spaceships, or even entire towns through the Vortex using this technique but it is very difficult to accomplish. If programmed correctly, a TARDIS can dematerialize leaving whatever has recently entered it behind at the original coordinates. This is made even easier if the object is not fully in phase with the interior dimensions.
With the dematerialization complete the TARDIS's Harmonic Generator uses the subneutronic spin as a basic Space-Time Warping Template for a resonant harmonic/mesonic collapse of the interstitial mesh which opens and then seals the breach in space-time preventing any disturbances. The Space-Time Warping Template can be used to seal other types of breaches (see Temporal Fusion). If removed from the TARDIS the Space-Time Warping Template will appear to physically twist and warp. This is a neurological illusion caused by the template twisting the space-time structure of the neural network of the observer's brain. The amount of power being used by the TARDIS increases drastically during Dematerialization. Most of this power is converted into potential energy. To prevent this energy from discharging into normal space at the moment of dematerialization the energy is stored and slowly emitted from the Eye of Harmony in the form of Hawking Radiation. If a TARDIS is trapped in mid-dematerialization it will keep releasing chronometric particles from the event horizon. The energy will continue to be emitted until the TARDIS has "bled to death." After each materialization, it takes twelve minutes for the Time Rotor's Energy Storage Unit to power up for the next trip. This makes the Dematerialization Circuit the most power-intensive system in a TARDIS.
The Dematerialization process will be quite rocky if the thermo-couplings have been exposed to freezing conditions. For this reason it is important to keep the main doors closed if the exterior environment is sub zero. Dyestrial toxin clouds in the atmosphere can inhibit a TARDIS's dematerialization. For this reason the operator should ensure that a TARDIS moves through time to a point where there is no Dyestrial toxin before beginning spatial displacement. Strong shields, temporal fields, magnetic fields, or steep gravity gradients (like a black hole) can also interfere with dematerialization.
Since mass affects the shape of space-time it is possible that a TARDIS may find it easier to enter and exit the Vortex away from large masses like a planet. During dematerialization it would shift itself slightly out of time - making it insubstantial and invisible. It would then lift-off to reach a safe distance from the nearest gravitational body. At this point it would enter the Vortex. Minor faults in the visual stabilization circuits would explain the numerous scenes of the TARDIS hanging or travelling through normal space. The various scenes of the TARDIS flying up into the sky could be cases where it takes off or arrives in a visible (and sometimes tangible) form due to a malfunction of the visual stabilization circuit. Alternatively the Vortex might look like space when the TARDIS is hanging in limbo (and thus not generating a wormhole tunnel). The handful of physical take off scenes could just mean that the Doctor chose to use Hover Mode to gain some distance from a specific interference field before he began the dematerialization process.
The following color code is used:
- Black: For information from the TV Series, including Dimensions in Time, and 1996 TV Movie.
- Blue: For information from the Novels and Audios including Target, Virgin, BCC, and Big Finish.
- Green: For information from 'licensed' reference sources such as the Technical Manual, Doctor Who Magazine, and the Role Playing Games.
- Red: For information from unofficial sources -The Faction Paradox series, behind the scenes interviews, author's speculation, and popular fan belief.
The TARDIS Technical Index is copyright Will B Swift.