The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Plasma gun possibility?  (Read 2645 times)

Offline McKay

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 148
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Plasma gun possibility?
« on: 02/09/2013 07:27:49 »
Not exactly a theory, but, aside from power requirements, creating a usable plasma gun, that can actually hit and damage a target at .. well.. any distance, is the fact, that plasma is very light PLUS pretty much the only decent way to accelerate something that hot is to use electric fields and accelerate only the same-charged particles, which will repel each other immediately after exiting the accelerating tube, thus cooling and slowing down rapidly..
But what about a relatively simple (at least partial) solution: use two barrels right next to each other - one accelerates and spits out positive particles, but the other accelerates negative ones so that when both type of particles exit the nozzle (or enter one, united nozzle), they get attracted to each other and become neutral, thus not expanding THAT rapidly after exit.. ?


 

Offline chiralSPO

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1880
  • Thanked: 145 times
    • View Profile
Re: Plasma gun possibility?
« Reply #1 on: 02/09/2013 22:29:18 »
Once the ions recombine to a neutral stream, the advantages of having been in the plasma state are probably lost. I might be missing something here, but wouldn't it be easier and more effective to take all the energy of forming and accelerating the plasma, and just use that energy for heating and/or accelerating neutral projectiles?
 

Offline alancalverd

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4728
  • Thanked: 155 times
  • life is too short to drink instant coffee
    • View Profile
Re: Plasma gun possibility?
« Reply #2 on: 02/09/2013 22:44:01 »
A lightweight projectile is pretty useless. You could accelerate a feather to the speed of sound, but it wouldn't travel very far in air when you released it.

Meanwhile you can of course buy a plasma gun at any decent toolshop. Great for welding and cutting, but not for vaporising alien starships.
 

Offline CliffordK

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 6321
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • Site Moderator
    • View Profile
Re: Plasma gun possibility?
« Reply #3 on: 03/09/2013 06:20:01 »
There are experiments with plasma/ion rocket propulsion.  However, I think the energy expenditure of a plasma weapon would be extreme, as well as difficulty maintaining a coherent stream. 

A Jacobs Ladder may be essentially a plasma device.  Likewise a lightening bolt does create plasma.  However, the lightening bolt does follow an unpredictable path, and requires an electrical charge difference between the source and destination.

Perhaps in space, one could weaponize sending out super-heated plasma pulses, but let's hope that there never will be a need to weaponize space for anything other than defending against natural phenomenon such as asteroid bombardment.
 

Offline McKay

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 148
  • Thanked: 1 times
    • View Profile
Re: Plasma gun possibility?
« Reply #4 on: 03/09/2013 07:03:17 »
Once the ions recombine to a neutral stream, the advantages of having been in the plasma state are probably lost. I might be missing something here, but wouldn't it be easier and more effective to take all the energy of forming and accelerating the plasma, and just use that energy for heating and/or accelerating neutral projectiles?

But how can you rally accelerate a neutral object? Well, you can, if it is cold enough and if you intend to accelerate it to relatively slow speeds, but with EM pulses and plasma or something, you can reach much, much higher speeds (our existing particle accelerators, for example.. yes, they accelerate only small amounts of matter, but still is pretty deadly if you put your head in one.. ) and temperatures - thats the whole point of something like a plasma gun.. (?)
 

Offline Skyli

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
    • View Profile
Re: Plasma gun possibility?
« Reply #5 on: 14/09/2013 12:36:52 »
If one fired an electron beam or ionising laser through a nearly parallel positively charged plasma source (or several) would the plasma follow the path of the ionisation, hitting the target milliseconds after the original ionising pulse?
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Plasma gun possibility?
« Reply #5 on: 14/09/2013 12:36:52 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums