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Author Topic: plasma as a weapon?
guy_insane
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Icon 5 posted November 03, 2005 15:35      Profile for guy_insane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
i know that plasma formed in a hydrogen fusion reactor is extreamly dangerous and that some sci fi novels and things use plasma as a weapon the thing is if you could concentrate it into a blast it would dissolve the atoms of any thing it touches so do you think that some how it could really be used as a weapon? please give your feed back and your comments.

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the universe is as you perceive it so a change in perspective is a change in the universe- me november 2 2005

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quantumfluff
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Icon 1 posted November 03, 2005 18:10      Profile for quantumfluff     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know it can be done, because I built one. If you can come up with $10K in cash, I'll be happy to sell it to you.
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guy_insane
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Icon 1 posted November 03, 2005 18:38      Profile for guy_insane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
unless you run a black market you are either crazy a genius or a rip off artist.

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the universe is as you perceive it so a change in perspective is a change in the universe- me november 2 2005

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 00:13      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Plasma will not "dissolve the atoms of any thing it touches", or you would not be able to keep it inside the reactors where you make it. Plasmas made on this planet can only interact with surfaces, and in the case of fusion reactors, the greatest problem is that if the plasma touches the wall, it immediately cools and the fusion is no longer viable. This means that they use very strong magnetic fields to stop the plasma touching the walls not because it is dangerous to the reactor walls, but because it is dangerous to the plasma.

Plasma weapons are sci-fi, and are likely to stay that way.

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 10:32      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
guy_insane_______________Where I worked we had a Plasma torch, for cutting steel. I do remember that it used a compressed gas to carry the flame into the kerf and that it cut alot faster than OxyAcetalene and with less slag to grind off after, nice neat cuts.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


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Posts: 5855 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
ASM65816
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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 12:34      Profile for ASM65816   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thermodynamics, energy kinda' spreads out.....

Plasma close to steel, steel absorbs energy and melts.....

Plasma in a vacuum, particles will continue in their direction of travel but they'll probably expand as well (shotgun-like).

Plasma in an atmosphere, plasma particle collides with gas particle:
  (long int) plasma_p--; (long int) hot_air++; /* Quickly get lots of hot air and no plasma */

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Once a proud programmer of Apple II's, he now spends his days and nights in cheap dives fraternizing with exotic dancers....

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 14:36      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
We had a plasma torch in my welding class.... coolest. thing. ever. It cut through like an inch of steel like a hot knife through butter, and you could make a cut out of the sistine chapel and not lose any quality if you wanted to.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 15:32      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I might be wrong, but I believe plasma is basically just ionized gas. It may or may not be super-hot. Obviously, superhot plasma will cut metal.

As far as dissolving atoms goes, isn't the whole idea behind fusion kind of the opposite of that? If you want to bust up atoms, you use a fission reaction...

Ah. Here. Google is good.

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
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Sxeptomaniac

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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 17:01      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah, so it can be manipulated with magnetic fields because of that ionization. Because of that, I suppose that superheated plasma could be fired using the same principle as a rail gun, because firing something that hot with conventional means would cause too much damage to the barrel and cool the matter too much. However, as pointed out, thermodynamics would still tend to make that pretty problematic in air. If the projectile were focused tightly enough to avoid much spread (ASM's "shotgun" effect), it might be possible in space, but that just sucks to think about. We've had enough wars on Earth, I don't like the idea of us bringing the tools of the trade into space.

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Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. - C. S. Lewis

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Zwilnik

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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 17:39      Profile for Zwilnik   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
don't waste effort and ship's mass using plasma for weapons, build Ion drives using the fusion reactor to provide plasma as propulsive material and carry a large amount of sand/gravel.

1) You can then use the engines as a weapon by pointing them at your enemy. It also means you're running away as you're shooting at them (props to Larry Niven for that concept)

2) as you accellerate, drop the sand/gravel behind you. Assuming your enemy is travelling faster than you were as they catch up with the debris, they'll take massive amounts of damage from the mass travelling at a high relative speed to them. (or drop the sand then accelerate fast). (props to the old RPG Traveller for the Sandcaster concept).

Generally hitting your opponent with a large rock, or making them hit a large rock is a lot more effective than trying to zap them with hot stuff. Mass and velocity = a lot of energy [Smile]

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The Universe is entirely made up of elements.
The most important of which is the element of surprise.

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HalfVast

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Icon 1 posted November 04, 2005 18:40      Profile for HalfVast     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Actualy I think plasma is a state
of matter heated beyond gas where the
electrons are rended asunder from
the nuclei. The nuclei are of
a positive charge and can be rustled
about by electromagnetic fields.
When cooled the nuclei reclaim their
negative mates and are a gas again.

[Big Grin]

Posts: 796 | From: In the mitten around the abductor pollicis brevis. | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
guy_insane
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Icon 1 posted November 07, 2005 17:44      Profile for guy_insane     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
the plasma i was refering to as well as that inside a ydrogen fusion reactor is heated to the point where the atoms break up and become just a bunch of superheated particales floting around and in side a fusion reactor it is contained by electromagnets pushing it around so it looks like a dounught.

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the universe is as you perceive it so a change in perspective is a change in the universe- me november 2 2005

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The real Stealth
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Icon 4 posted November 17, 2005 08:07      Profile for The real Stealth   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Um Plasma weapons are theoretical. the biggest problems with them are maintaining an adiqate supply of plasma and preventing it from loosing its temperature before it hits its target. you see it doesnt destroy te attoms it melts the material... [Geek] atom destruction comes more from particle weapons than plasma. Ill post latter on that one. [devil wand]

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The one and only "§†eal†h the Fallen One"...Between Your life And mine are Three realities, Yours, The real one, and Mine. They they form a bridge shapped in the letters D-O-_-N-O-T-_-C-R-O-S-S.

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