The Stargate was originally thought to have been built by the Goa’uld race, this was everntually discovered to be false and the Stargate had originally been built by a race called “The Ancients”. The Stargate connects to a network of Stargates throughout the entire galaxy and spreading out to other galaxies such as Andromeda and Pegasus. The Stargate is built out of an alien mineral called Naquadah and weighs in at approximately 64,000 pounds.
The Stargate works by creating an ‘artificial wormhole’ through subspace and connecting to another Stargate, you use a sequence of ‘glyphs’ that are corresponding galactic coordinates based on star constellations to find an ‘address’ in three dimensional space. You need six coordinates to find a location of a planet and the seventh symbol, or coordinate is your ‘point of origin.
When the Stargate is first activated in emits a plume of unstable energy in the form of a ‘vortex’, this energy is completely destructive and will disintegrate anything it comes in contact with. Once the unstable energy has passed the vortex settles down into a stable wormhole and it is safe for travel. Once objects or travellers have exited the other side of the wormhole the Stargate turns itself off.
Stargates are normally found with a DHD, or Dial Home Device. These pieces of equipment are linked to the Stargate and all the symbols on the Stargate have corresponding symbols on the DHD. The Stargate on earth doesn’t have a DHD though and a “Dialling Computer” was jury rigged by Stargate Command to serve the same function of a DHD, it should be noted however that the Dialling Computer on earth is nowhere near as efficient as the DHD system.
During the Atlantis mission it was noted that The Ancients have placed several Stargates in space, these Stargates do not have access to a DHD are are rather used by the “Puddle Jumpers” which all have their own build in DHD’s to access the Stargates.
Different types of Stargate
It should be noted that there are two known different types of Stargate, the Stargates in the Milkey Way galaxy are the ones used by Stargate Command and still use a spinning inner track to lock the chevrons onto an address. The Stargates in Atlantis and the Pegasus galaxy are more advanced, using a spinning ‘light address’ instead of an inner track. This seems to cut down on the amount of time needed to ‘dial out’ and the Stargates are often referred to as ‘rotary’ for the Milky Way ones, and ‘digital’ for the Atlantis ones.
It is possible for the Stargate to be dialled manually however, the inner ring is locked until the Stargate has the necessary power built up to open a stable wormhole, once the necessary power is achieved the inner ring unlocks and manual dialling can commence.
The Stargate ring had 39 Symbols on it, most corresponding to known constellations. However the actual ring on the Stargate had nine chevrons, or locking devices on it, Seven Symbols are used for interplanetary travel and eight are used for Intergalactic travel, it is currently unclear was the ninth symbol actually represents. It has been speculated that the ninth chevron will allow interdimensional or ‘time travel’, though this has never actually been confirmed or denied in the series.