Tazer rifle

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magiccanbescience
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Tazer rifle

Postby magiccanbescience » Tue Apr 12, 2016 12:46 pm UTC

I first saw it in Jurassic Park The Chaos Continues https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59Xh2VHE0Ng watch around 2:20 - 2:40 I'm less concerned about the charging up for a bigger shot then I am about the actual electric bolt/pellet being discharged you can also see it in Jurassic World. Is this in the realm of possibility, if so does it already exist and how does it work? I know there are tazers that send the charge over a wire and I don't care about those. Just to be clear a pellet/bolt made of electricity not an electrically charged metal bullet.

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SDK
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby SDK » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:37 pm UTC

magiccanbescience wrote:made of electricity

This is not a thing. Nothing is "made of electricity" - electricity is just the movement of electrons within a medium. Without something to carry the charge, you've got nothing.

What is possible is generating plasma, which is just extremely high temperature ionized gas that can carry electricity. It's what you see during a lightning strike, when the air ionizes to carry the charge. Plasma weapons are a thing, but as far as I'm aware do require a solid sheath around the plasma to contain it if you plan on firing from any distance. The sheath hits the target, breaks, and releases the plasma which damages the target through the intense release of pressure and heat (not electricity).
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p1t1o
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby p1t1o » Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:41 pm UTC

Probably the closest thing you will find:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolaser


SDK wrote:Plasma weapons are a thing, but as far as I'm aware do require a solid sheath around the plasma to contain it if you plan on firing from any distance. The sheath hits the target, breaks, and releases the plasma which damages the target through the intense release of pressure and heat (not electricity).


That sounds suspiciously like a quote from the Total Annihilation manual...wouldn't it be easier to produce the plasma in-situ at the target, say, using a conventional shaped charge?

Possible relevance - there has been some research into "electrical armour" which induces a very strong magnetic field specifically designed to disrupt plasma jets from shaped charges.

update: huh, well here you are: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiva_Star

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SDK
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby SDK » Tue Apr 12, 2016 4:09 pm UTC

p1t1o wrote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolaser

That's cool.

p1t1o wrote:That sounds suspiciously like a quote from the Total Annihilation manual...wouldn't it be easier to produce the plasma in-situ at the target, say, using a conventional shaped charge?

I don't pretend to be an expert on any weaponry, let alone plasma weaponry. That was just going off memory, though based on your links to SHIVA, I guess the real deal is actually possible. When I said, "Plasma weapons are a thing" I meant "a thing that is possible" not that they're currently being used. Considering the OP started out with a link to a video game, I assumed this question was about what was possible, not what was practical.
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Tub
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby Tub » Tue Apr 12, 2016 5:16 pm UTC

SDK wrote:Nothing is "made of electricity" - electricity is just the movement of electrons within a medium. Without something to carry the charge, you've got nothing.

Well, you could try shooting the target with electrons, thus building a negative charge in the target which will eventually cause a current between the target and the ground.

Inducing stun-level amounts of current with this method has a few issues around portability, energy efficiency and non-lethality, but one might consider a stream of electrons to be "pure electricity" for a sufficiently non-rigorous definition of electricity.

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SDK
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby SDK » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:03 pm UTC

That's a good point. Electron guns are a thing too. I've never heard of them being used as weapons before though, unless you count all the years of brainwashing the US government did using cathode ray tubes installed in every home.

In fact, when you consider the device used to play the game linked in the OP, this all comes full circle! :shock:
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drachefly
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby drachefly » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:42 pm UTC

The mean free path of electrons in air is way too short to make a practical weapon on Earth.

magiccanbescience
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby magiccanbescience » Thu Apr 14, 2016 2:13 am UTC

I know that people tend to use the wrong words or use a watered down explanation but any documentary, etc, I've seen that dealt in any way on electricity, when they've shown plasma lamps, and Tesla Coils they never once referred to the beams of energy as plasma, so that's where I get calling it electricity from, that and I would sometimes see it when I plug a cord into a wall. @sdk yes you are correct I did ask whether it was possible.
All in all thanks for the response everyone.

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Copper Bezel
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Apr 14, 2016 4:12 am UTC

Well, it wouldn't be accurate to say that it's just plasma, either. In the case of lightning or any other electrostatic discharge, the ionized air is what's conducting the flow, but the thing that's being conducted is a transfer of uneven charge, so, electricity. If you're struck by lightning, the plasma isn't the thing that kills you.

Electricity needs a conductor to move across, and air is bad at that unless it's ionized (normally by a high voltage potential difference between the two things producing the arc.) A taser uses a pair of metal conductors, while the electrolaser would use a laser-generated plasma channel, and lightning clouds just use their ridiculous potential difference with the ground to produce their own plasma channels.

To be clear, the plasma isn't itself moving, it's just the state of matter that the air has been transitioned to. The plasma is the thing you see in a lightning strike or a plasma globe, in the sense that you can't see the electric current itself, but it's also just what the air looks like when it has high voltage electricity passing through it. The plasma is the "wire", and it happens naturally in air.

The original correction was that "pure electricity" doesn't exist, because electricity is a flow of charge through a medium. And as folks have said, you could technically fire free electrons (or protons, for that matter) through a vacuum - that's how cathode ray tube televisions worked - but not only does it not work in air, it also has much less to do with either lightning or electrical wiring than they have to do with each other. (In an electrical circuit, individual electrons are not shooting along from one end of the wire to the other - they're in their own orbitals on atoms in the conductor but, in conductive materials, can get nudged along to the next atom, creating an imbalance of charge that sends the next electron along. In ionized air or any plasma, the dissociated electrons allow a current to flow in the same way it could through a solid conductor.)
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby Neil_Boekend » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:04 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:Electricity needs a conductor to move across, and air is bad at that unless it's ionized (normally by a high voltage potential difference between the two things producing the arc.) A taser uses a pair of metal conductors, while the electrolaser would use a laser-generated plasma channel, and lightning clouds just use their ridiculous potential difference with the ground to produce their own plasma channels.

Spoilered for being a tangent:
Spoiler:
Not quite true. The potential difference of a lightning storm is not enough to cause the arc by itself. Weather scientists still haven't figured out what actually happens but there are indications that the ionized channel is caused by a random cosmic ray and that the potential just uses that channel to short out. Problem is that it is not testable in a controlled environment.
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Copper Bezel
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Re: Tazer rifle

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:24 am UTC

Ah, that actually makes a lot of sense. I really should have checked the wiki on that one - I kinda thought it seemed not quite right given the scales involved.
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