Basically, in my alternate timeline, technology advances a lot more quickly, and in the 16th century, humanity lives among the stars.

Energy-based weapons are commonplace, and powerful kinetic weapons are present as well.

A new, experimental type of armor is known as a fractal armor. It has an in-built force field built to protect from kinetic weapons(cannot stop energy and light based weapons), but the fractal armor has 99.99 percent reflective ability. Would this be effective as an all-purpose armor on the battlefield?

EDIT: in ‘reflection’ means like a mirror

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Would this be effective ... against what? (Plus it is not really possible to make a mirror which reflects all the electromagnetic spectrum.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Aug 30, 2021 at 14:49
  • $\begingroup$ Edited-check now $\endgroup$
    – Sync
    Aug 30, 2021 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ Normally I'd VTC this, but you're still getting used to how this all works. As written, there is no way to provide a meaningful answer. Are your people fighting underwater? on a hillside? in a toxic atmosphere? In freezing cold? Are they close together? spread apart? Will they be attacked by AK-47s? Nuclear bombs? Plasma guns? (what's a "plasma gun?") You've explained almost nothing about your amour, and absolutely nothing about how they'll be used. This Q isn't missing a sentence or two, it's missing whole paragraphs of context and conditions, which are required (see help center). $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Aug 30, 2021 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ Are you asking if a specialized type of armor would make good armor that will see a variety of situations? Or are you asking if armor that is really effective at reflecting light can be effective at stopping a bullet also? $\endgroup$
    – Kezat
    Aug 30, 2021 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ I guess a combination of both $\endgroup$
    – Sync
    Aug 31, 2021 at 11:37

1 Answer 1

  1. You can't see out of this armor because nearly all light is reflected away. If you can see out of the armor, your eyes or sensors still get cooked by the energy beam.

  2. The first bit of dust/dirt/rain that gets on the armor gets heated into a plasma by the incoming energy beam, physically blasting a tiny pit into the armor. This imperfection is, of course, not 99.9...whatever reflective and rapidly grows into a larger hole under the beam, allowing the beam to cut into whatever's behind the armor.

  3. Sci-fi energy weapons encompass a variety of things and reflectivity only affects light. Particle beams/plasma/ion beams (aren't going to be reflected), gravitons aren't going to be reflected, etc.

  • $\begingroup$ The level of technology is something OTL(us) could see in a hundred years $\endgroup$
    – Sync
    Aug 30, 2021 at 15:24

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