# Electric Arc Discharge Plasma and other forms of Plasma tech as a weapon

I'm making a weapon for my character which looks like a sword or is used as such but is segmented to give it whip like flexibility (restricted movement for safety) when needed. Each segment has metal protrusions (the arc is created between these protrusions) on all four sides which hold a small blade for use when plasma is not being used.

My question is, how would that behave, consequences or side effects of using such tech and potential risks. What other forms of plasma technology should I look for or should I stick with the electric arc discharge plasma? Any ideas or improvements for the power source would be appreciated but not necessary...

The way I'm building my sci-fi universe is that I'm trying to keep it grounded and real but make the fictional aspects believable and something that would be achievable, which then I make advanced for the 24th Century (the timeline my story is set in) like efficiency, accessibility and feasibility.

• Other that aesthetics, what would be the purpose of creating pretty electric sparks along the edges of the sword? Jun 10 at 16:11
• those would be high frequency high voltage plasma through the air between the segments which would be for high temperatures to burn through objects like metals. Contact with living tissues would cause explosions and very serious injuries. The weapon is meant to be used against heavy armor or metal when using plasma. Otherwise the weapon has small blades for dealing lacerations and cuts
– Zay
Jun 10 at 16:26
• A blade that causes explosions when it contacts a target seems like a strictly-worse sword. As a rule, you don't want anything melee to "cause explosions". Jun 10 at 19:05
• Also, I recommend searching plasma weapons on this site to see why they're fun but shouldn't ever include the science-based tag. Jun 10 at 19:07
• that's why I never called it a sword, instead it is a weapon which is like a sword as it can slice through when the plasma is used. The explosions on contact with living tissues is a detail caused by water, but it is a result of exposure to extremely high temperatures so when not using plasma it isn't something to worry about. And as a balancing act the plasma would only be useable three times consecutively lasting 5 seconds each, after that the power source needs to be recharged which takes considerable amount of time to power plasma tech which could cause such damage.
– Zay
Jun 10 at 20:22

Your character has modified an industrial tool.

The plasma sources she has made her sword out of are usually kept in a line and used to break down large metal things for salvage. She has added joints between the plasma sources so the whole thing flexes around in use. It is difficult to predict where the blade is going to be. This makes it a terrible tool but also very difficult to block or parry. In theory. Her theory.

Your character is not big or strong and not that coordinated. But she is relentless. More than that, she is stubborn, and will not admit the weapon she made is at first glance wildly impractical to the point of being dangerous to the wielder. She practices and practices. With the plasma off. The point of the little blades is to catch and mark the plastic sheets and mounted rods that she uses to practice.

• That is quite close to the character I'm making Though I noticed I hadn't specified on the whip-like flexibility, the weapon will be stiff at most times when using plasma but the little blades will still be difficult to master. To counter that the segments behave in a way where the closer the segment is to the handle the more restricted it is in movement, as if it was an abandoned prototype doomed to fail and was later adapted by the character in this way. This is basically what I had in mind for the Electric arc discharge plasma. I plan to make the character learn through her mistakes. Thnx!
– Zay
Jun 10 at 23:07

The sword is likely to be heavy, so your character has to strong and skilled to wield this weapon. Besides, this weapon can twist and turn, you wouldn't want it to smack yourself in the face with plasma would you.

The only risks are hurting yourself, which makes your character having to train for a very long time to perfect the art of this weapon. But otherwise, good idea! Another idea a gun that shoots plasma/electricity (obviously), but likewise it is going to be very heavy. I would prefer the flexible sword :-)

• I would have added a gun but I didn't find any ways to make a plasma projectile from the research I was doing, electromagnetic confinement is the closest to be able to make plasma a projectile but that would require a companion projectile in the center of the plasma bolt to confine the plasma matter and resist the heat. Which sort of becomes complicated for the whole system to work and be less portable. Using it as large stationary guns for long range also would see the plasma lose energy. I could make a rare metal to counter but it would still render it a rare short-ranged projectile weapon
– Zay
Jun 11 at 7:41