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Particle beam weapon range?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by ClearDragon, Jul 13, 2020.

  1. ClearDragon

    ClearDragon Minstrel

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    Hello people I've not been on here for a while.
    So I've been trying to figure out the range of particle beam weapons, specifically hand held weapons.
    I actually have not been able to find good information about real world weapon range, the best I found was an interesting chart comparing handguns and rifles, but it didn't have a scale!
    I assume a good quality semi auto rifle could get a thousand yards, is that reasonable? How about a particle beam rifle? Could it be several times the range or just about the same? I want to write my battle scenes with realistic range. I know a particle beam would travel at near the speed of light, but it would also lose power as it traveled. I don't know how far to lose it's lethal power though. What would some reasonable numbers be?
     
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  2. Za'dok Khoal

    Za'dok Khoal Dreamer

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    E=mc2. lol, But no, if you look at the basics of ballistic dynamics different rounds have different characteristics. There is a whole science behind it so I wont go too far into it, I use to love working on military style engineering projects including small arms, like pistols and rifles.
    Basically the heavier the round the further it will carry depending on your grain and the amount of grain in the cartridge. That at least is the basics behind a much larger series of equations. At least I think that point would be the most appropriate point of view for your particle rifles, the heavier the particle the more mass the particles would create, thus the greater or lesser the distance a round could travel, then you would have to relegate that mass to the amount of force it would take to propel it to the distance needed, or "charge" needed to propel the mass. In theory particle rifles have been an idea for a long time, because you could calibrate it to the situation at hand and on the fly, they would be much more adaptable to situations found on a battle field. Long distance? ramp up your charge and set it to dump a larger amount of particles into the chamber, or swap out the type of particles needed. In a crowd and cant have rounds penetrate through a target? use a medium setting on the particle and a low charge setting. I don't know if that helps, but if you do more independent research look into firearm "ballistics". Its been some years since I set down with any of the math, but if memory serves those are "some" of the basics in the direction you are going down. There are people who dedicate their lives to the study of how to make a bullet and rifle more effective.
    -and yes for a trained person, a thousand yards is feasible, below I attached a link talking about the longest kill shot in history (over 3000 yards-more than two miles) made by a Canadian sniper team in Afghanistan. May help a little to point you in the right direction. hope it helps. also, one last thing, in recent years I have been a fan of this series called "Galaxies Edge" by Jason Anspach and nick Cole, it was in their books, a recent one actually, called the hundred, I think. but they use a form of particle rifle, and instead of injecting the particles into the rifle, they simply use charge packs and some form of filter the absorbs the particulates from the air. great series, you may want to see if there is any science behind that one, I haven't looked into it, just thought it was a cool idea.

    World’s Longest Sniper Kill: Enemy Shot Dead at 3,871 Yards (Over 2 Miles Away)

    if you are interested, look into E=mc2, math nerd humor, there is a reason it came to mind when you mentioned a particles and the speed of light,
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2020
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  3. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

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    Assuming it is something akin to a laser, the answer is 'not that far.' Reason being the beam has a slight spread to it with distance, and as it spreads, it weakens.
     
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  4. ClearDragon

    ClearDragon Minstrel

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    Thanks for the information. I actually didn't know about the record sniper kill distance!

    I see, that makes sense. I wonder about lightning though, it's kinda like a particle beam and has been observed to travel hundreds of miles!
    A lightning rifle would be something impressive, and my story does take place like four thousand years from now anyway. So I think technology like that could be reasonable.
     
  5. Za'dok Khoal

    Za'dok Khoal Dreamer

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    That one is an interesting concept, lightning in its truest form strikes after a build up of ions finds and equalizes between to air and earth, normally to a conductive substance. To try to direct fire on this principle, wouldn't work in a battle field environment, the burst of lightning would wind, turn, or otherwise "go to" the closest conductor from where it was fired. In truth "lightning" in its truest form I believe is plasma, (as a substance) so, for a bird of another name, you are basically thinking up plasma rifles. and even though it could basically be a "plasma" rifle you could still describe the weapons projectile and function as your own. Say the bolts look like lightning. A good research point would be to wiki plasma and lightning. Have fun with that one.
     
  6. Vaporo

    Vaporo Inkling

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    I think that a particle beam weapon would struggle in the atmosphere for the exact same reason that you'd struggle to throw a handful of dust more than a few feet through the air. Same goes for plasma weapons. You might be able to get away with it if you used an uncharged particle like a neutron, but still I think that's pushing it.

    An lightning gun wouldn't realistically work either. Lightning is the result of an electrical discharge through the air. As soon as the charge escaped the gun, it would uncontrollably take a path to the nearest electrical ground. Usually, this means the literal ground beneath the user's feet. Or worse, through the gun, the user's body, and then into the ground. If you could direct the lightning to a distant target, you'd probably be better off just weaponizing whatever field you're using to contain the strike than the lightning itself.

    Contrary to popular belief, lightning strikes aren't actually all that deadly, sporting a mortality rate of just 10%. Lightning is extremely high voltage and low current, and current is what's really deadly.
     
  7. Za'dok Khoal

    Za'dok Khoal Dreamer

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    ClearDragonClearDragon coming from someone who is predominantly a sci-fi writer himself, the science is cool, and it can be fun to work your way around to making something plausible. But it is still fiction, and we do this out of an enjoyment for bringing life to our imaginations. If you want a lightning rifle call the thing the Zeus mk.4 and let her rip. Find a thread to grasp to where the science is concerned and go at it. Let the people who want to make the real thing worry about the science. Give me some entertainment, and take me on an adventure.
     
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  8. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage

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  9. ClearDragon

    ClearDragon Minstrel

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    I've actually decided to go in a different direction now.
    Instead of lightning I'm just making up my own version of star trek phasers that have some different effects.
    No stun and no overcharge, also not a continuous beam just a tenth of a second beam. I've also thought up using a linear force-field to keep the beam together longer. I know that way out there but I think I'll go with it.
     
    Za'dok Khoal likes this.

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