I have a plasma rifle, but it's not just any plasma, rifle. This weapon uses accelerates a toroid plasmato incredibly high speeds I can shot the cup down from anyone's head. (and probably smash their ribcage apart if I miss):

  • Speed is 8km/s ( approx. the re-entry speed of columbia).
  • I use nitrogen plasma, because it's abundant.
  • Projectile weight: 0,31 gram.
  • Diameter is 1 decimeter.

But there's a problem, namely air resistance (as the weapon would be fired in an atmosphere), as the toroidal shape isn't the most aerodynamic one, but I'm not entirely sure about the air's effects on it.

So, how could I protect the plasma from air-resistance, if it's a significant hindrance?

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    $\begingroup$ You would be dead almost instantly if you fired this weapon within the atmosphere. So this is basically a suicide bomb? Worrying about plasma but not about yourself, well, priorities. How far away is your target supposed to be? I personally don't know how to calculate the blast radius from the top of my head, but maybe it would help someone who can. $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 8 '17 at 14:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 600 m range, kinetic must be enough to break apart a skull. $\endgroup$ – Mephistopheles Jun 8 '17 at 15:01
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    $\begingroup$ I'm sorry to bother you once agian, I've seen that I made an assumption that might have altered how I saw the question. Could you please specify how much plasma you are shooting and the direction of those 2000 km/s - and if this isn't the velocity in the direction of the target - what is that velocity? It also wouldn't hurt to know what your plasma is made out of. But most likely the answer is: There would not be any significant slowing down or change in 600m, there would just be less plasma equal to the amount of atoms in the air and a lot of radiation + some heavier elements $\endgroup$ – Raditz_35 Jun 8 '17 at 15:12
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    $\begingroup$ Please clarify your units for the toroidal plasma. Is its diameter one decimetre or one dekametre? This is a difference of two orders of magnitude. Just saying cavalierly that's it's 1 dm is unhelpful and renders part of your question meaningless. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jun 9 '17 at 2:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 Also note this xkcd-what if. The speed there is higher than here but not THAT much (factor 151, only ~2 orders of magnitude), and we're already dealing with plasma here. So I'm pretty that Raditz_35 was correct in his first comment and that the weapon would blow up everything in the surroundings when fired. $\endgroup$ – Nicolai Jun 9 '17 at 4:49

Since vortex rings are sustained by aerodynamic interaction they're not going to work past the speed of sound (340.29 m/s).

Best way to protect something from aerodynamic forces is to put it within a fairing of some sort. Such a fairing won't practically contain a plasma. However if you use a copper fairing and fill the inside with lead, it will do an excellent job of damaging whatever it hits.

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