McKAY: OK, look. Um, although they're all based on a fairly similar technological premise, each race has a slightly different type of hyperdrive. Ours are based on the Asgard drive with our own little twist; the Ancients had their own particular system; and the Wraith, again, have their own separate hyperdrive technology.
JACKSON: All right.
McKAY: OK, so at its base level, a hyperdrive allows you to travel great distances by entering and exiting sub-space.
JACKSON: OK, this much I already know, yes.
McKAY (leading him back to the central console so that they can see the device in the next room): OK, so, if this machine is capable of actually functioning safely, it disrupts the very specific sub-space frequencies the Wraith use.
JACKSON: So they wouldn't be able to engage their hyperdrive.
McKAY: Well, that's the genius. They would be able to engage their hyperdrives. It's just that their particular channel of sub-space would be destabilised and their ship would be ripped into a million pieces.