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thor's first prime
July 4th, 2005, 08:46 PM
Would anyone know which type of weapons are better? Is it "rail gun", "coil gun/mass drivers" or "plasma weapons". Which has the greater range and which can do the most damage?

Avatar28
July 4th, 2005, 08:52 PM
I would say it really depends on the target and the exact gun. For most purposes, a rail gun and a coil gun are basically the same thing, except that a coil gun I believe can get up to higher speeds.

As for a KE (kinetic energy) weapon (shoots a projectile at high speed to deliver large amounts of kinetic energy to the target) vs plasma vs DEW (directed energy weapons like lasers, phasers, particle beams, etc), there are too many other factors to give a proper answer. Things like the speed of the KE weapon, atmosphere, target type/composition, etc.

KE weapon = Delivers large amounts of kinetic energy to the target doing it's damage that way.

DEW weapon = Delivers it's energy directly to the target in the form of a beam or bolt with no physical component. Damage is often due to thermal effects.

Plasma weapon = cross between the other two. Fires a stream or self-contained bolt of plasma. Being physical it has a kinetic energy component as well as delivering significant thermal damage to the target.

Assuming that you're referring to the weapon being used in outer space, though, a KE weapon would have theoretically nearly unlimited range with no appreciable reduction in strength. DEW weapons and plasma weapons most likely would lose power over distance due to dispersion and decay. On the other hand, they tend to travel at a higher rate of speed than a KE weapon normally would.

As for power, well, the DEW is probably going to contain the most power in most cases. HOWEVER, if you could accelerate the KE weapon's projectile up to relativistic speeds, you can get INCREDIBLE amounts of power out of one. From another thread (http://forum.gateworld.net/showthread.php?t=12103) where I posited relativistic rail guns.



If you had, say, a 50 kg projectile and accelerated it all the way to .25c, it would have a kinetic energy upon impact equivalent to 33,563 kilotons. If the speed could be boosted to .5 c then you have an impact energy of 134,254 kilotons. That should be enough to do wreck any Goa'uld (or Wraith's) day, particularly if it were capable of rapid fire.

Even if the mass were reduced from 50 kg to 1, you would still have an impact energy of nearly 2700 kt.

In fact, that would probably be a MUCH better way to go. Let's say you went with 2 kilo slugs, then at .75c you would have 12,083 kt and at .9c 17,400 kt. The smaller slugs would take up much less space.

_Owen_
July 4th, 2005, 09:29 PM
Lol, very nice, you took the words right out of my mouth... or fingers... nevermind. Anyways, you are right, there are many variables that you need to consider. The most important is the target at which you are shooting, and the environment in which you are shooting. Each type of weapon is better for some situations and worse for others. An example is, if the enemy were replicators, a projectile weapon, or kinetic energy weapon, as well as a plasma weapon would be the prefferable choice, however, were the enemy the Goa'uld, a Plasma type weapon would probably be a better choice seeing as it could fire in large bursts, as well as deliver intense heat, for ground combat with an enemy such as the Goa'uld, in a War type situation a plasma weapon would not need to be as acurate because the battle is in close quarters, so a wide spread blast of plasma would be most effective, however a projectile weapon would be appropriate for other situations.

So yes, Avatar28, you are correct in saying that each would be more suitable for diffrent types of situations, sorry if it seems like I just reposted what you said.

To thor's first prime, if you would like to supply a situation, I or Avatar28, I am sure would be happy to respond.

Owen Macri

thor's first prime
July 4th, 2005, 09:55 PM
i am looking at the scenario of a large battleship firing at a planet surface from orbit. what would be the weapon of choice here?

Avatar28
July 4th, 2005, 10:17 PM
Seriously? Asteroids. :-) Snag a few and send them on an intercept course with your target planet. A few decent sized ones should thoroughly decimate the planet. If you're good enough at accelerating them or directing them, you might could even target specific cities.

Or did you want it habitable immediately afterwards? In that case, it's hard to say. A plasma weapon would, in all likelyhood, be dissipated to a large degree by the atmosphere and/or the magnetosphere. In fact, you should check out what StarDestroyer.net has to say (http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Essays/PlasmaWeapons.html) on the topic. It's a pretty good site and they try to base their answers in physics as much as possible.

KE weapons would also suffer from the air resistance. That leaves DEWs, but depending on the type of DEW, that might not work either. For instance a particle beam would likely not make it overly far through the atmosphere without special measures. Also, I believe they generally (at least our current ones) have to stay on target for an extended time to have lethal effects. MAYBE if you could ionize a path first. A laser might do better. Some of the talk with the Star Wars program involved hitting targets from orbit with a laser and the Air Force is developing a laser based in a 747 that is theoretically capable of hitting a target hundreds of miles away, though I believe that currently the range is really much less than that due to atmospheric absorption (clouds, rain, dust, moisture all will wreak havoc on a laser). Perhaps a maser might do a better job through the atmosphere, though I'm not sure how useful it is for destruction.

So, basically, the atmosphere is probably going to provide significant protection from most space based weapons. You're probably just going to have to send down some bombers/bombs/missiles to do the job.

_Owen_
July 5th, 2005, 02:09 PM
If it is people which you are trying to detroy, I would have to suggest plasma weapons, seeing as they could be spread out over a much larger area than other weapons. However if the target is buildings, I would suggest an energy weapon, if it could be fired on a large scale and configured to vaporize, disintegrate, dematerialize, etc. If the target is more singular, however, I would suggest a kinetic energy weapon or a focused energy weapon. A kinetic energy weapon would most likley burn up in orbit, this would be like firing energy at the target, they would be like fire balls. A focused energy weapon, might be more effective though.

Asteroids are a good idea, but they would not be my first choice, unless the asteroids are on a scale that they could cause a global envronmental catastorphe, something that could wipe out life on a planetary scale.

Owen Macri

Owen Macri

Lord ┬žokar
July 10th, 2005, 08:11 AM
Would anyone know which type of weapons are better? Is it "rail gun", "coil gun/mass drivers" or "plasma weapons". Which has the greater range and which can do the most damage?
How long's a piece of string? The generic better weapon will be the one you can get the most energetic projectiles out of.

_Owen_
July 13th, 2005, 07:30 PM
Wait a second did I miss and episode, what does string have to do with this?

Owen Macri

Lord ┬žokar
July 13th, 2005, 08:43 PM
It's a colloqialism, it has nothing to do with the question directly.

All things being equal, I'd take the coil gun.

_Owen_
July 13th, 2005, 08:48 PM
Oh, all right then, I would personally take an antimatter launcher with a personal shield using my redundant shield technology.

Owen Macri

briguy213
July 13th, 2005, 08:49 PM
Do we even have a plasma gun or a lazer gun or anything?

_Owen_
July 13th, 2005, 08:56 PM
Not on the scale you are thinking of. We could build a plasma or laser gun, but not on the scale that you are thinking of. Plasma, is a completley diffrent state of matter, but you can reach it by super heating a gas, lighting does this all of the time, the air around the lightning bolt is converted into plasma. All we have to do is convert it, and fire it without losing a great amount of heat.

Lasers are created by reflecting light back and forth many times so it will heat up, we could make a laser gun but it wouldn't be like in Star Wars.

Owen Macri

Avatar28
July 14th, 2005, 12:21 PM
I think the guns in star wars are more likely some sort of plasma anyways. It's certainly not a laser as you can watch it move.

IRL, straight plasma really would not be effective in an atmosphere as it basically gets stopped and dissipated by the air. Plasma is FAR less dense than air. You would have to find a way to contain it.

aAnubiSs
July 15th, 2005, 07:12 AM
Space->Planet: Well if it's destruction you want I'd go with a regular nuclear bomb, no need for something fancy as a railgun using solid or plasma projectiles. Plasma would break up very easily, projectiles would be better then plasma due to their much denser nature. A missile doesn't have to travel fast and can wreck havoc with a matter-energy conversion.

Planet->Space: Definately missiles. Not only would plasma break up due to the gravity and atmosphere but the temperature would lower signifintely. particle-beams would break up bouncing off all the particles in the atmosphere.

As for self-contained plasma... Good luck, AFAIK there's only one shape that I know of that can be self-contained regarding plasma, and that's only for a short while. So unless you wanna attach a small field generator to every shot fired I don't really buy plasma weapons.

Infact if I had the sufficient technology I'd base all of my primary offensive and defensive systems on missiles

As for space:
Short range: Plasma
Middle range: Solid projectile rail gun
Long range: relativistic proton/neutron beam
Short to Long range(all around): Missiles. Expensive though. Yield varies between 0.0001kT and 1GT in SG1-verse.

_Owen_
July 17th, 2005, 07:32 PM
I think the guns in star wars are more likely some sort of plasma anyways. It's certainly not a laser as you can watch it move.

IRL, straight plasma really would not be effective in an atmosphere as it basically gets stopped and dissipated by the air. Plasma is FAR less dense than air. You would have to find a way to contain it.
You are right, however, you could contain it in a bubble of some other material, or just a forcefield, when all else fails, buy yourself a forcefield generator.

Either that or a tiny forcefield generator is fired with the plasma, that generates both a forcefield around itseldf to protect it from the plasma, and a forcefield around the plasma.

Owen Macri

briguy213
July 17th, 2005, 07:41 PM
how do you get plasma?

_Owen_
July 17th, 2005, 07:44 PM
By superheating a gas. Plasma is the fourth state of matter, lightning creates it by superheating oxygen in the atmosphere, so next time you see lightning, you are also seeing plasma.

Owen Macri

briguy213
July 17th, 2005, 07:53 PM
Does it stay plasma or change back to gas?

_Owen_
July 17th, 2005, 08:00 PM
It will change back to gas as it cools.

Owen Macri