Energy weapon impacts...

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Cykeisme
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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Cykeisme » 2010-07-08 02:52pm

Wouldn't directed energy weapons in the kiloton range have a kinetic component?
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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Bakustra » 2010-07-08 03:29pm

Cykeisme wrote:Wouldn't directed energy weapons in the kiloton range have a kinetic component?
A one kiloton laser would have a mass-equivalency of 4.62 e-5 grams, or about 46 micrograms. A 100-kiloton laser would have a mass-equivalency, unsurprisingly, of 4.62e-2 grams, or about 46 milligrams. It would take a 21.6-gigaton laser to have a mass-equivalency of one kilogram. Bullets for handguns and rifles generally are in the ones to tens of grams. So to have the mass-equivalency of a 250-grain bullet (16.2 grams), we would need a 349-megaton laser beam. So, yes, there is a kinetic component to energy weapons, but it's minor.

Blasters, though, are not purely lasers, so the kinetic component may be greater, but blasters don't make exit wounds in people or behave like a kinetic weapon against other substances. They don't act like an explosive shell either, as they make small holes in living things. Being primarily thermal is the best overall theory after considering the different properties of the materials they hit.
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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by LaCroix » 2010-07-08 05:21pm

Since blasters leave scorch marks, thermal is the most logical conclusion.

This makes Goauld staff weapons so wierd as even hand-held yields (mere Kilojoules) show a small kinetic component (Making people fall backwards, lobbing of heads and make then fall back a handful meters, and such)
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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Bakustra » 2010-07-09 09:45am

To expand further on my previous post, we see several materials being hit by blasters. The walls of Cloud City are particularly instructive, but here are three examples:
1. Human flesh covered by thin cloth. (Officer aboard Death Star, Leia on Endor)
2. Concrete (Docking Bay 94)
3. Metal/metalllic substance (walls of Cloud City)

Now, the visible damage is dependent on the substance hit and its physical properties. With concrete and flesh, neither of which are highly conductive, what would happen is that the shot would heat only a small part of the target. With enough energy, the portion it heats would be vaporized and rapidly expand. In the case of concrete, which fractures readily, this manifests as an explosion shattering part of the wall.

In the case of human flesh, though, the expansion results in superheated particles of the area vaporized riddling the inside of the body. Depending on how well they can penetrate the diaphragm and perineum, death could be near-instantaneous from damage to the heart and lungs from even a gut shot, as is seen with the office aboard the Death Star. In any case, being shot directly with a blaster is undoubtedly a painful affair. With the officer, we also see smoke (or possibly vapor) rising from the wound.

In the case of Leia's arm, we see the cloth of her sleeve has completely burned away over the wound, and the wound itself is spread across the the surface of her arm- inconsistent with kinetic damage alone. Interestingly, neither Leia's nor the officer's clothing burns further. Perhaps common fatigues and military uniforms are fire-retardant within Star Wars. We can also see the benefit of Stormtrooper armor; energy expended on melting through the armor is less energy to heat the inside of the body, so Stormtroopers can potentially survive blaster shots that would cripple unarmored people, though pain would probably still disable them.

Cloud City's walls are metallic in composition, or at least have a metallic covering. One of the defining characteristics of metals is that they are more conductive than nonmetals overall. So when a blaster shot hits a metal object, the heat is conducted over a wider area and heats that area. So, in the case of Cloud City's walls, the melted or vaporized material leaves a broad but relatively shallow crater, as opposed to the damage done to human flesh or concrete.
LaCroix wrote:Since blasters leave scorch marks, thermal is the most logical conclusion.

This makes Goauld staff weapons so wierd as even hand-held yields (mere Kilojoules) show a small kinetic component (Making people fall backwards, lobbing of heads and make then fall back a handful meters, and such)
Primarily thermal; there are small kinetic components. Staff weapons presumably have more prominent kinetic components than blasters.
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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Sarevok » 2010-07-09 09:55am

LaCroix wrote:Since blasters leave scorch marks, thermal is the most logical conclusion.

This makes Goauld staff weapons so wierd as even hand-held yields (mere Kilojoules) show a small kinetic component (Making people fall backwards, lobbing of heads and make then fall back a handful meters, and such)
Why are you assuming the momentum is delivered by the bolt itself ? A shoulder fired rocket launcher might be able to flip over a small vehicle. The rocket launcher fires a slow moving projectile but when the round detonates the explosion can generate massive amounts of force. Same thing might apply here. A staff blast could cause an explosion and that explosion it turn causes stuff to fly around violently. Infact that is what happens when filming typical scifi raygun battle scenes. They dont really shoot laser bolts. The explosions and their effects are pyrotechnics going off where the bolt should strike. If pyrotechnics could do that why not assume an actual in universe energy weapon could cause a similar powerful explosion when a bolt strikes a physical object ?
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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2010-07-09 03:30pm

Blasters have done (inconsistently) both thermal and mechanical (Eg explosive) effects inconsistnetly. We also have cases where there is no obviously fatal or serious wound (or even just a small one) and it still seems to have an apparently fatal effect.

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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by ArX » 2010-07-11 07:39am

I wasn't implying that Blasters or Staff Weapons fire 20kt blasts (I just chose that
value because I thought people might have some idea what a nuclear explosion of
that magnitude is like), nor was I referring to hand held or ship mounted weapons
specificly (Just to energy weapons with that kind of characteristics...)

And what I was asking if the effect is the same...

If you blow 20kt bomb on the ground it makes a big bang, but if you fire some 20kt
energy weapon (like those in star wars/star gate universes) would it make the same
kind of big bang or would that energy just continue to burrow straight down and
only result in a minor bang on the surface...

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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by ArX » 2010-07-11 08:40am

In Star Gate for example the Goauld ships can apparently fire some 200 megaton blast.

But on the other hand we have seen them trying to take out some people with orbital
bombardment with blasts hitting no more than some 50 meters away from people, out
in the open with no apparent ill effects...

So whats the deal here ?

Were those shots fired at only tiniest fraction of their full potential for some reason
or did the bolts continue to burrow deep into the planet dispercing their energy into
vast areas of bedrock or something so only tiny fraction of their energy was released
on the surface... ?

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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2010-07-11 02:31pm

ugh. I'm not an expert on these things (eg not an engineer or a scientist) but to be simple about it: Alot of what "happens" depends entirely on how you configure the weapon. Is it a rapidly pulsed weapon or a continous beam? Does it have a wide or narrow focus? Is it single pulses or multiple, and if so, how many? How much energy is being imparted (per pulse, overall, etc.) How quickly are the pulses delivered and how long a delay between shots? What kind of material are you striking? Etc. etc.

In general a pulse or a series of pulses, concentrated over a very small area and very rapidly, will be more "explosive" than a sustained beam. The more concentrated and the faster the energy is delivered (and the more energy delivered) the more explosive it is (much like a HE). A single pulse might resemble a nuclear detonation at certain higher yields in some respects (although not totally - a beam weapon delivers its energy in a concentrated way while nukes release it in all directions, although the area/time vairables and the need to heat the atmosphere for blast effects can remain the same.) IF the energy is spread over a series of smaller, successive pulses, you might make a smaller overall crater that burrows deeper. You could even go for "fan beam" or "cone beam" or wide beam type effects seen with some sci fi weapons (think of a shotgun blast or a flamethrower)

This is all very very very much of an oversimplification and should not be taken as gospel. The thing i've realized about this (and while not an expert, I am not a stupid person) is that they are complex. While everything that vaporizes will not automatically behave like TNT (TNT's lethality comes from a very specific set of critiera, after all.), that doesn't mean there aren't adverse effects at all and often it can be hard to predict them (EG effects on weather.)


The one big thing to keep in mind is that in an atmospheric enviroment, especially at large amounts of energy (or even with smaller amounts of energy spread over a large area in a large period of time, say a large ground battle) one can be injecting LOTS of energy into the enviroment, and energy just does not disappear. Not only is this a burn hazard (superheated air, flash burns from explosions, etc.) but it could have nasty effects with regards to weather and climate.

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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Connor MacLeod » 2010-07-11 02:38pm

Edit: It doesn't help that, as I said, blasters can have non-explosive, non thermal "lethality" to them as well. Its a distinct possibility that blasters have a "neural disruptor" like capability (think of a more lethal "stun" effect - basically irradiating or frying out the nervous system. Severe burns- internal and external and perhaps a fatal increase in body temp may accompany such effects and add to potential lethality.) Thermal/explosive effects may not even be intended as the primary "organic" damage mechanism - they may be used entirely just to bypass armor or clothing or other defenses.

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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Teleros » 2010-07-12 08:05am

LaCroix wrote:This makes Goauld staff weapons so wierd as even hand-held yields (mere Kilojoules) show a small kinetic component (Making people fall backwards, lobbing of heads and make then fall back a handful meters, and such)
This may be the result of some of the target being vaporised and then expanding rapidly. There are already some plans to use this with lasers (look up "pulsed energy projectiles" online), so this may be why we see people thrown about when hit by staff blasts (if the blasts themselves don't have any kinetic component at all, that is).
ArX wrote:If you blow 20kt bomb on the ground it makes a big bang, but if you fire some 20kt energy weapon (like those in star wars/star gate universes) would it make the same kind of big bang or would that energy just continue to burrow straight down and only result in a minor bang on the surface...
As from the previous page, if you dump a lot of energy into a single laser pulse or what-have-you, you'll make a big explosion, much like a nuke, although the crater may be slightly deeper and have a smaller radius. If you're doing the same damage with much smaller pulses (say 1MJ per millisecond laser pulse), then it rather depends on how energetic and spaced the pulses are. However, this method is better for drilling through stuff than a single monster blast, because you give the material you've just vaporised a brief window in which to disperse before the next beam hits, and so you waste less energy on heating up the already-vaporised matter. Obviously, allow for longer dispersion times if firing an ISD's heavy turbolasers, because there'll be one hell of a mushroom cloud to shift first :P .

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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by lordofchange13 » 2010-08-06 11:43am

blaster don't know. but the gould starr would hit the ground, and keep going down, with a wideing plasma spray as it desended.
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Re: Energy weapon impacts...

Post by Vympel » 2010-08-06 12:01pm

So er, yeah - necromancy, and Ryu didn't come back here. So lol.
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