Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange
55

Yes There are several devices in existence that work based on similar principles as yours (with one or two adjustments). While they're used for plasma research, rather than weapons, they could presumably be adapted for your purposes. If you were to make a plasma cannon from scratch, you should probably model it at least in part after one of them. The major ...


35

GPS satellites - almost all satellites, really - need to have the capacity to be remotely "disabled" as part of their end-of-life protocol. Satellites degrade over time like all things do (especially things exposed to the orbital environment) and they're also steadily rendered obsolete. To avoid old satellites cluttering up the most useful orbits and ...


31

Frame challenge: You can’t, at least with the limitations imposed You are asking for too much, some of your points contradict each other or ask for something that's far beyond what a sword could do: Able to cut through steel, i.e. through a sword raised in defense or plate armour. Firstly, asking to cut through a steel sword with another sword is hard ...


26

If the water is already in microgravity and isn't mostly constrained by structures, the vapor pressure inside will tend to blow the mass apart into smaller masses, which will in turn blow apart more. At some point in this process, evaporative cooling will freeze the water, ending the cycle (ice has plenty of structural strength to contain water's vapor ...


20

Short answer: no, your design would not work. TL;DR: don't bother trying to make plasma weapons, especially not for use in an atmosphere. Longer answer: you can reasonably consider your plasma to be a dense cloud of very hot gas. Your gun doesn't use electromagnetism to propel the plasma, and most people don't hang around in places with particularly ...


19

No. The reason why human athletic levels are where they are have nothing to do with control and everything to do with tolerances. This is actually a similar reason to why being in a car accident or falling off a cliff is so dangerous; the human body is not designed to go at those speeds or 'jump' that high. For one thing, our bones are designed to be strong ...


17

This is from the Wikipedia entry for GPS, regarding its control segment: The flight paths of the satellites are tracked by dedicated U.S. Air Force monitoring stations in Hawaii, Kwajalein Atoll, Ascension Island, Diego Garcia, Colorado Springs, Colorado and Cape Canaveral, along with shared NGA monitor stations operated in England, Argentina, Ecuador, ...


17

You won't be able to cut a sword as if it were paper, cloth or a bamboo, not with your constraints. Mainly because metal blades are not made of fiber, so even for a medieval sword you would need a laser for a proper cut. What you can do is make the enemy's blade snap. Blades will snap if you bang them hard enough against hard objects. To that end, ancient ...


16

You might be surprised to learn that even the full power version of this gun could be fired by an experienced shooter without physical augmentation. It's all about gun design. First, there's porting. This is a pair or symmetrical set of openings in the top of the barrel, near the muzzle (typically to either side of the front sight). Propellant gas, still ...


10

The fine-structure constant is the one controlling most of the properties allowing life as we know to exist. It can be expressed as $\alpha=$$k_e\cdot e^2 \over \hbar\cdot c$, where $k_e$ is the Coulomb constant $e$ is the elementary charge $c$ is the speed of light in vacuum $\hbar$ is Planck constant As you see, if you change $c$ you change $\alpha$, ...


9

From a purely classical point of view, $c = 1 / \sqrt {\varepsilon_0 \mu_0}$ which means that if one were to change the speed of ligh $c$ one would have to change $\varepsilon_0$ (the vacuum [electric] permittivity), or $\mu_0$ (the vacuum [magnetic] permeability), or both, and, as an immediate effect, change the strength of all electromagnetic phenomena. ...


9

Ceramic swords We have ceramic knives today, much harder than steel (8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, compared to 4.5 for normal steel and 7.5 to 8 for hardened steel). They keep their edges far longer than steel blades and never rust or degrade, even in very harsh conditions. They are also resistant to acid. Ceramic blades are, however, more ...


8

I see some problems in your concept: fans do not build pressure. They just produce a flow of air. If you want to pressurize air, you need pumps. The higher the pressure, the more difficult it is to produce a plasma: the gas molecule will travel a shorter distance before losing energy in an impact, therefore you will need higher energy input. plasma won't ...


7

It sounds like you have invented a plasma vortex cannon. The image is from the Backyard Scientist on Youtube. Here is a news clip about a plasma vortex cannon that hopes to be profitable. “Firefighters won’t go into a building unless they can see their way,” Faulkner said. “So if they could fire a vortex ring of ionized air into a space—down a ...


7

Yes 28mm revolvers exist they are just not practical weapons (~14lbs). a 22mm would be almost identical to a 8guage shotgun shell, except it will have more powder. Hellboy's gun has relatively low power you don't want to copy it. The length of the cartridge also matters as much as the diameter, a wide short cartridge is not going to pack much punch. ...


6

It takes a surprising amount of energy to form a gas bubble in water. As an example, consider a glass full with some soft drink at rest. Usually there will be bubbles of $CO_2$ going up continuously, but they will all originate from a certain number of points on the glass surface, not from within the liquid. These points are impurities in the glass' surface ...


6

GPS transmissions come to Earth very attenuated, and hence are very sensitive to jamming (radio blabbering) and spoofing (fake messages impersonating sattelites). A radio station switched to the appropriate frequency would deny a large area. The catch is that it automatically broadcasts the jamming source location. A missile could literally lock on to the ...


5

There could be a link. Imagine early specimens evolving colorful patterns to avoid predators by confusing them. Also in this species, male should protect the mother and the young. Thus, having colorful patterns is a genetic advantage. Over time, females will be attracted to males displaying colorful patterns, which will select the ones with the patterns. ...


5

There have been some research activities in the past that deal with identical twins and the partners they select. Skipping past all the detail and to the point, it would appear that in humans, the selection of a partner is inherently random. Often the twin doesn't actually like the partner of the other twin. This to me makes sense when you consider the '...


5

The guys above have already said it, so FRAME CHALLENGE! I had this idea in the back of my head for a while but was too busy trying to make dragons overpowered to actually say it. Patrick Star has already said that plasma is hot, ionized gas, which would rapidly expand in the atmosphere, i.e: an explosion. It's quite devastating, and could potentially ...


5

The weapon use country specific electric/lighbulb/ power grid or any type of net designed by such country. This is Berlin more than 20 years after West and East merged. But that's not all! You know how trains are powered by electricy? Look at this map of railroads. So how the weapon works? It's designed to fry and start fire in energy network that ...


5

"Maybe": GPS, and the other services, satellites contain communications and state control interfaces because they are designed to be able to be controlled from ground stations. One of the key functionalities of those state controls are what level of encryption is used to broadcast their signals - the US's GPS is first and foremost a military service, that ...


5

Your problem is physics, not metallurgy. Steel is tough, even if your sword is perfectly rigid and takes no damage during a hit, you'll push the armor wearer back. To puncture the armor, you need a lot of force concentrated in a very small spot, but then armor thickness of a plate mail is laid out to resist such stabs. A much sharper material won't help ...


5

The monks are master swordsmen. through: moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location). The monks know swordsmanship. To people who fight them (or actually people who have talked to people who have seen the monks fight) it seems as if armor and swords pose no barrier to the attacks of the monks. Their swords cut ...


4

First of all, your methodology is sound. Atmospheres are about partial pressure and setting up an in-ship atmosphere of around 0.2 to 0.3 ATM of pure oxygen is reasonable and actually practical; It means that your ship doesn't have as much differential pressure to deal with against the vacuum outside, meaning it an be lighter as the walls can be a little ...


4

Certainly -- if you're the United States Government. They temporarily turned off the "dithering" of the system at various times (including during the first Gulf War, due to shortage of mil-spec GPS devices) and did so permanently in the late 1990s (I don't recall the exact year, and it doesn't really matter here). They could, in theory, turn it back on at ...


4

First you have a problem 50 miles off the coast is solidly on oceanic crust. volcanoes that pop out of the oceanic crust are not releasing a lot of ash, As oceanic crust is mostly basalt so is the laval. thus they tend toward basaltic lava type volcanoes instead. You need a more rhyolitic composition to get a lot of ash. This means you are going to need to ...


3

Eat the invaders. Make the invaders taste delicious when cooked in a light butter sauce. How convenient for us that they don't eat, and they are seemingly baffled by high walls. This will make corralling and containing herds of them much easier.


3

It depends on how much the time machine can send through, the amount of time required to spend on a single breakthrough and how many breakthroughs you need. First through the time machine would be the most important piece of the entire process: The Plan. It details the minimum requirements to achieve success, and what technology needs to be researched and ...


3

All GPS satellites have two-way ground communications, they need semi-continuous (the longest maximum no check-in time is measured in months) ground telemetry updates. You wouldn't need to hack the satellites, individually or collectively, you'd just need to corrupt that data and crash everything. By which I mean literally crash it, hot metal falling from ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible