Naquadah is a rare, super-dense mineral (atomic weight of 98.6389 (2)) used by a wide number of different races. Its most basic use is as a weapon: Naquadah greatly amplifies energy, making it extremely potent if paired with explosives. Due to its unique properties, Naquadah forms the basis for many advanced technologies; the Stargates themselves are composed almost entirely of Naquadah. Naquadah is also present in the bloodstream of the Goa'uld, which allows them to control their technologies and sense the presence of a Stargate and other symbiotes. The Goa'uld have Naquadah mining operations on many planets; its refined form, weapons-grade Naquadah, is extremely valuable and often used as currency. Weapons-grade Naquadah is so dense that two Jaffa are required to lift a quantity the size of a couple of common housing bricks, making it at least as dense as gold. Alternate forms of Naquadah include Liquid Naquadah, used to power Goa'uld Staff weapons, and heavy Liquid Naquadah, used to power AG-3 satellites.
Naquadah is a super-heavy mineral of unknown composition, and has superconducting properties. It can store massive amounts of energy and is extremely hard. It gives off a unique energy signature that the Goa'uld, former hosts, Jaffa, Tok'ra, and Cassandra Fraiser can detect. However, large doses of drugs can counter this. Hand-held sensors and those on the Prometheus can detect the signature. The energy stored in Naquadah can be released rather efficiently. Small amounts of Naquadah can be absorbed into the blood streams of some creatures. Allied with the host body's bio-electrical impulses, the energy contained within the Naquadah in the bloodstream of host and symbiote renders these Goa'uld devices operable when touched. It was stated to be quartz like. Because of the Naquadah in her blood, Major Samantha Carter was resistant to anesthesia. Radio signals cannot pierce large amounts of Naquadah.
Naquadah is capable of repeatedly handling an active wormhole, whereas Titanium only lasts several minutes under similar conditions. The hardest known substance in the universe is the Asgard-created alloy, consisting of Carbon, Trinium, and Naquadah. Liquid Naquadah is capable of firing powerful pulses of energy repeatedly. An isotopic variant of Naquadah called Naquadria stores much more power, but is radioactive. It was believed to have been created artificially by the Goa'uld Thanos on Langara, the first planet on which it was discovered and the only one currently known to possess it. P4X-351 and the Icarus-like planet also possessed Naquadria cores, but both were destroyed in the two known instances of dialing the nine-chevron address of the Ancient ship Destiny's Stargate. Carter theorizes that the substance can be used to solve hyperdrive technology as well as shields. Naquadah reacts violently with potassium, resulting in massive explosions with radioactive potential.
Uses by race
The Ancients made the first practical application of the mineral with the creation of their network of interplanetary Stargates, constructed from refined Naquadah, making them incredibly durable and able to absorb the necessary energy required to maintain a stable wormhole. They also used Naquadah in the creation of their ships. Naquadah was used along with stone to create many of the Ancients buildings in the Milky Way galaxy. The Ancients set up gates, and bases on planets where Naquadah is rich, explaining how the Goa'uld gained access to such an incredibly rare mineral. Colonel Jack O'Neill once created a Power boosting device using Ancient knowledge and the liquid Naquadah power cell from a Staff weapon. This suggest that the Ancients once used Naquadah for power generation. (SG1: "Children of the Gods", "Singularity", "In the Line of Duty", "Thor's Chariot", "The Fifth Race", "Small Victories", "The First Ones", "Enemy Mine")
Most Asgard energy sources stem from Naquadah fusion-reactors which power their formidable motherships and hyperspace drives. The Asgard have constant dependable sources of Naquadah within their home systems in the galaxy of Ida. The Asgard flagship O'Neill, which was destroyed in a battle against the Replicators, was constructed of a Naquadah-Trinium-Carbon alloy which would have made it the most advanced design in the galaxy. (SG1: "Small Victories")
Little is known about the Furlings, however the Orbanians are listed as one of the civilizations being sheltered by the Omeyocan and their crystal skull transport network The Furlings are thought either to be or be the cause of the Omeyocan. This indicates that they purposefully settled the Orbanians on a planet rich with Naquadah, and therefore knew of the element's technological advantages. (SG1: "Crystal Skull", "City of the Gods")
The Goa'uld eventually discovered the mineral's potential and absorbed it into their technology. It is a staple of many of their devices and a cornerstone of their powerbase. Worlds rich with Naquadah, such as Abydos, are therefore highly prized. Before the fall of the System Lords, the Goa'uld heavily relied on this element. They created Naquadah bombs, and used Naquadah in their Staff cannons and Staff weapons. Naquadah was also used for power generation, hyperdrive technology, the Sarcophagus, long range communications, and shield technology. Goa'uld symbiotes even have Naquadah in their blood. Goa'uld spaceships, most notably Ha'taks, were constructed with Naquadah. The Goa'uld also use Naquadah as their version of the Ancient Technology Activation gene used by the Ancients, a kind of key which unlocks the most vital Goa'uld technology, including the controls of a mothership, and both the Kara kesh and Goa'uld healing devices.
Goa'uld can detect the presence of Naquadah within a host body. Hathor, Apophis and Setesh all detected that Captain Samantha Carter had been taken as a host. It can also be sensed within Stargates themselves. Hathor was drawn to the Stargate even though it was buried beneath Cheyenne Mountain.
With the fall of the System Lords, Naquadah has become a valuable commodity, particularly weapons-grade Naquadah. It's even used as currency. There are two other variations of Naquadah: Liquid Naquadah which is used to power Staff weapons and weapons-grade Naquadah which is used to make Naquadah bombs. (SG1: "Hathor", "Seth", "Learning Curve", "Upgrades", "Scorched Earth", "Chain Reaction", "Prometheus Unbound", "The Ties That Bind")
The Jaffa use Naquadah much in the same way as the Goa'uld as their technology is mostly, or entirely, Goa'uld based. Before the fall of the Goa'uld, when they were still slaves under the System Lords, some of them were used to mine Naquadah on Naquadah rich planets. Erebus, for example, was a death camp; Jaffa unwilling to serve Ba'al were worked to death there, slaving on the construction of a Ha'tak mothership. Only Jaffa prisoner labor was used to purify the Naquadah, since they were the only ones strong enough to stand the intense heat and toxic gases of the blast furnaces fed by underground volcanic systems. Eventually even the Jaffa succumb.
However, with the fall of the Goa'uld Empire, Naquadah became much more readily available. The Jaffa have been shown to posses powerful Naquadah bombs which were comparative in power to small nukes. (SG1: "Orpheus", "Flesh and Blood")
The Lucian Alliance has been shown to be involved in the mining of Naquadah, and have been known to accept Naquadah as currency. They probably also use Naquadah in the construction of their ships, and for power generation. Since they use mostly Goa'uld technology, they are thought to use naquadah in similar ways.
Vala Mal Doran, a human thief and con artist, stole the Tau'ri ship Prometheus in order to trade the ship for some weapon-grade Naquadah with Jup and Tenat, two operatives of the Lucian Alliance. However, the plan was thwarted by Dr. Daniel Jackson. (SG1: "Prometheus Unbound")
The Orbanians helped the Tau'ri to create Naquadah reactors. This indicates that they used Naquadah for power generation. It has been said that Orbanian Naquadah reactors are more efficient than their Goa'uld equivalents. (SG1: "Learning Curve")
The Ori used Naquadah in the creation of their ships. Since both the Ancients and the Ori are descendants of the Alterans and used a quite similar technology it is possible that the Ori used Naquadah in the same way the Ancients did. The Ori Supergate segments were also made of Naquadah which is not surprising as after all it is just a super sized Stargate.
The Tau'ri heavily rely on the use of Naquadah in a very similar manner to most species. Colonel Samantha Carter is Earth's foremost expert on the technological applications of Naquadah. Working with the young Orbanian scientist Merrin, Carter developed the first Earth device powered by the element: a Naquadah generator. Over time, Carter has perfected the design of the reactor to be an extremely portable as well as powerful power device. However, she has also been instrumental in more destructive experiments, firstly in overloading the reactor to make a bomb and secondly in enhancing the payload of a Nuclear warhead. The reactors have frequently been used on their off world bases and they were the first power source of Atlantis, after its rediscovery, and they still serve as an emergency power source. Naquadah generators are used on Tau'ri ships, and likely opened the path for the Tau'ri to create Railguns.
Naquadah has also made it possible for the Tau'ri to construct their first interstellar spaceship, the X-303, named Prometheus. Since then, all Tau'ri battlecruisers have been built using Naquadah. The mineral has been used to build the hull alloys of the BC-304 class warships which consists of Naquadah, Trinium and possibly Carbon, as well as a powerful power source. (SG1: "Learning Curve", "Scorched Earth", "Chain Reaction", "Prometheus", "Prometheus Unbound") (SGA: "Rising")
The Tok'ra also have Naquadah in their blood and their Naquadah enriched blood is blue. It is theorized by many that the crystal technology used by the Tok'ra is in fact based on an allotrope of Naquadah. They use Naquadah in the same manner as the Goa'uld, since they are closely related to each other.
Behind the scenes
- Naquadah was named after the town Naqada in Egypt. There has been a settlement there through Egyptian history. The Arabic verb نقد (naqada) means "he
vetoedcriticised" As a noun, نقد refers to cash or نقود (naqood)-money, which is probably what was intended given its value as a commodity.
- In the original movie and "Children of the Gods", the Stargate was said to be made of a quartzite material. It was confirmed later in the series to be made of Naquadah.
- The word "Naquadah" was first used in the Stargate SG-1 episode "Singularity", without explanation of how or when the mineral was named. Logically, Teal'c introduced the mineral's name to humanity after defecting to the Tau'ri. It was mentioned as a powerful additive for an explosive, but not named, in the original Stargate movie.
- There are several different spellings of Naquadah, including Naqahdah and Naquada. Naquadah is the variant used in most official sources, so it is the one used for the purposes of this article.
- Liquid Naquadah
- Naquadah bomb
- Naquadah dampener
- Naquadah generator
- Goa'uld technology
- Ancient technology
- Tau'ri technology
- Tok'ra technology
- Asgard technology
- Stargate SG-1: The DVD Collection 4, page 14
- GateWorld's article on