Continuation of: Preventing the dispersion of a particle-beam behind the target

I guess I don't understand all the physics, but why can't you turn down the power? Less power -> less penetration -> higher absorption in the thin target. – not store bought dirt 18 hours ago

That actually sounds like a viable idea! Computers could pull off the calculation to give as much juice as possible with/without penetration, however...

The weapon, I'm talking about, would use this new technology to accelerate particles:

In the accelerator-on-a-chip experiments, electrons are first accelerated to near light-speed in a conventional accelerator. Then they are focused into a tiny, half-micron-high channel within a fused silica glass chip just half a millimeter long. The channel had been patterned with precisely spaced nanoscale ridges. Infrared laser light shining on the pattern generates electrical fields that interact with the electrons in the channel to boost their energy [Redacted's note: but you're already at near-light speed!].

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2013-09-chip.html#jCp

The problem is that I don't know two things (but I'll only ask one):

How much fine control do I have over the speed of the projectiles?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Please limit yourself to one question per post. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Jul 14, 2017 at 22:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ One could at the least have multiple segments and only use the first one or two. Multi stage linacs do this. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Jul 15, 2017 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


It doesn't matter whether the linear particle accelerator is controllable or not. "In the accelerator-on-a-chip experiments, electrons are first accelerated to near light-speed in a conventional accelerator."

Your weapon needs to be attached to a conventional accelerator. This makes it somewhat less than handheld. You also need a suitably sized power station to energize the conventional accelerator.

For a neutral particle beam weapon, especially a handheld one, to work it requires a few layers of "magic" technology to work first. Namely, the accelerator and its power system. You should hope you don't need something the size of the Large Hadron Collider to generate your neutral particle beam.

Once they're operational and can be attached to a handheld weapon, that can be carried by a normal person, now you can do something about its controllability. Don't worry, that's a trivial technical exercise by comparison.


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