- "Think of it like a tap pouring water into a bucket. When the bucket is full, the drive engages."
The drive was designed to transport matter through the Matter bridge to access alternate realities. It is powered by Subspace capacitors, which provides near Zero Point Module levels of power. The device has to be encased in a protective area of the ship, as it gives off radiation that could be lethal with prolonged exposure. Despite its function of transporting ships to alternate realities, the ship would remain in exactly the same position (for example, in geo-stationary orbit above New Lantea) after every jump. The drive had a different, yet similar function to the Quantum Mirror.
If C-4 was to be used to destroy the machine, it would very likely tear a hole in the fabric of space/time that would be big enough to destroy a solar system. It's unclear if this is a hypothesis based on solid evidence, or simply McKay having watched too much science fiction.
The technology was encountered when an alternate Daedalus appeared over Atlantis after its drive forced it to this universe. Lt. Colonel John Sheppard's team became trapped on the alternate universe's Daedalus when the drive malfunctioned because of its flawed design. The team subsequently became lost while jumping through alternate universes. Dr. Rodney McKay was able to modify the drive to reverse and go back to all the universes they previously visited. They were able to get home and abandon the ship before it jumped again. McKay theorized that the ship only had about half a dozen more jumps before the drive burned out. This universe's McKay stated that he would be able to build his own version of the drive easily without any of the encountered flaws, but Sheppard advised him not to. (SGA: "The Daedalus Variations")
Behind the scenesEdit
The special effects for the jump is very similar to the special effects used in Stargate SG-1 where Merlin's Arthur's Mantle device shifts a person or object out of phase. In addition to this, the lighting effects for the drive itself were based on a machine from the Stargate: Atlantis episode "McKay and Mrs. Miller".