Would it be possible to turn water into plasma via hydrogen all in a compact gun like design, if not would it be possible at all? I know hydrogen plasma is a thing, so could it be weaponized?


  • must be safe and stable.
  • must have a range of 1 meter or more to shoot the plasma in whatever form you like.


  • a handwavium power source.
  • a handwavium water generator.
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    $\begingroup$ Could you explaine a bit about what you mean by "turn water into plasma via hydrogen", also a "range of 1 meter" to do what? $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ Geez leave a few of these open you guys! I am going to have to go look for stuff on the cooking stack! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ I tend to agree with @Willk in that this question should have been left open. Although this could use paragraphs, it is a perfectly good question. Although it doesn't technically follow the letter of the law, I personally think we should leave these kinds of speculative "could we do this" questions open. +1 and a reopen vote. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ Technically it can be done. Fill a tube with water and place a nuclear weapon at one end. In the microseconds before the entire device vapourizes, the x-ray radiation from the bomb will turn the water into plasma. You can place something at the other end so the plasma can transmit the energy of the nuke to create work, like accelerating a projectile to 100 km/sec. $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 5:08

1 Answer 1


Presuming you have a high energy source, the issue of concern is not the conversion, but how to maintain it.

Plasma loses cohesion and converts to gas the moment it leaves a confined space, or expands beyond a certain amount. This isn't particularly useful for guns.

The three best methods I can think of are as follows (neither are viable outside of a high energy physics lab with current technology)

  1. Induct a self-replicating A/C current into the ball of plasma to hold it together. This will remain active long enough for the plasma to reach it's target without dissipating.
  2. Generate and accelerate the plasma along an EMI phase-beam (i.e. maser, or laser for current high energy physics, although EMI Phase-Beams in other bands would work.) Presuming sufficient power,the phase beam would act as a magnetic containment device providing a nice beam of plasma.
  3. Ionize the plasma and utilize an small ionized projectile for it to be attracted to.

As of a handwavium power source. Any number of "high energy power cells" could be used, or a micro-fusion generator.

As of a handwavium water generator. You could condense humidity out of the air. You only need a few microliters to make a deadly amount of plasma if you make the plasma hot enough. Considering parts of the gun need to be superheated, and parts need to be supercooled, you already have a handwavium grade heat transfer device. The supercooled parts can double as condensers.

If you are using a projectile for ionic plasma isolation. that tiny projectile package can contain everything: a one time use power cell, a microliter of water, and the projectile.

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    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MARAUDER Lots of ideas for plasma weapons. As long as we're handwaving. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 3:07
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks: DWKraus Hopefully we can get a nice big list made. You might want to pick your favorites and write up your own entry linking it. I wish I had citations for the behavior of plasma other than the obvious Wikipedia entry which I thought was not worth linking. Especially the behaviors of plasma as an feredite that permits the use of latent magnetic field containment for brief periods of time. As a note, I would have mentioned electric archs as containment method, but the length was specified as over a meter. An arch can only practically aim about a quarter of that. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 3:16
  • $\begingroup$ Robert Wm Ruedisueli, I looked that one up researching plasma weapons before. I finally decided to handwave and made my plasma guns generate an evil psychic self-aware plasma that kept itself coherent while seeking to kill. Not as hard for science, but great for literary description. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ The EMI phase beam would probably be a weapon in of itself $\endgroup$
    – Thucydides
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 5:11

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