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Old 06-12-2019, 09:10 AM   #11
Varyon
 
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

Luke, the "full strength" comment in your alternate rules link makes me wonder - should a character with the Unsupported Strength Limitation on some of their ST be required to make an additional HT roll each second they are paralyzed by an electrolaser (or possibly even TASER) to avoid injury and potential crippling? Certainly one affected by the "tetanizing" setting would suffer such, but I'm curious if the default "stun" setting should carry such a risk.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:10 AM   #12
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
...
Luke

* Narrow beams lead to higher ionization density in the air, which leads to much faster recombination times, which in turn leads to an increased power needed to keep the current-carrying channels capable of conducting the beam, which leads to a higher risk of thermal burns.
That unusual width is definitely something I've never heard of. I love those counter intuitive bits of realistic tech.
A centimeters wide beam of "lightning" would be a bit intimidating, I think.

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Old 06-12-2019, 09:14 AM   #13
Flyndaran
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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I recall one story of a guy who had stolen a bunch of stuff from a work site and then crashed the stolen work van he was using as his getaway vehicle, and came out with the intent to fight the cops. They tazed him.

While a lot of stupidity went into creating the guy's problems that day, the most relevant bit wisdom he ignored is probably "when making a getaway, always make sure your stolen gasoline cans are properly secured."
That's also a real problem with people using weapons they aren't fully educated on. A gun's uses and dangers are obvious assuming no false education from fiction of course. But higher tech devices' aren't.
Pepper sprays aren't flammable, but they often include propellants that are, for just one example.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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That's also a real problem with people using weapons they aren't fully educated on. A gun's uses and dangers are obvious assuming no false education from fiction of course. But higher tech devices' aren't.
Pepper sprays aren't flammable, but they often include propellants that are, for just one example.
Eh, I'm not convinced a TASER (or electrolaser) is a bad choice even then. The guy obviously isn't susceptible to pain compliance, so now you have to mechanically restrain (or cripple/knock out) him in melee/unarmed combat (which is dangerous to both of you), cripple or kill him with your firearm (which endangers anyone nearby if you happen to miss, or the bullet overpenetrates), or accept the risk that he might burst into flames and tase him. The last honestly seems like the safest bet - to the suspect (or attacker), LEO (or would-be victim, if it's a jogger that's pepper spraying and tasing an attacker), and those nearby - although training people to know that there's the risk of a target catching flame if you follow up pepper spray with a TASER/electrolaser may make them more likely to respond and put out the flames before the guy ends up with 3rd degree burns (since they aren't as shocked when it happens).
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:42 AM   #15
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

I didn't mean to imply that a TASER is a bad choice for any particular situation. Only that it's easier to misjudge the dangers of a particular situation in ways one wouldn't for guns.
Of course guns are too often absolutely necessary even in hypothetical pacifistic societies.

It's that ultra tech societies will have far more options for lethal and less lethal devices. And that would require more education and snap judgments than just fist, nightstick, and gun entail.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Luke, the "full strength" comment in your alternate rules link makes me wonder - should a character with the Unsupported Strength Limitation on some of their ST be required to make an additional HT roll each second they are paralyzed by an electrolaser (or possibly even TASER) to avoid injury and potential crippling? Certainly one affected by the "tetanizing" setting would suffer such, but I'm curious if the default "stun" setting should carry such a risk.
Maybe?

I'm not familiar with the rules for Unsupported Strength - can you point me to the rules? If it is for something like a whale, which is plenty strong but can't really use than strength when lying on land, I'm not sure it would make much of a difference.

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Old 06-12-2019, 09:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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I looked into the science of these things a while back. As others mentioned, the "electro-" part is basically just a taser's electrical waveform. For the "-laser" part, what seems to work best are fairly wide (several cm) beams of pulsed ultraviolet light*. Choose a UV wavelength with enough energy that the absorption of two photons will ionize nitrogen, but a single photon has insufficient energy to do so. With a very short, intense flash, you can get two photon ionization for a distance of several tens of meters - even to 100+ meters - with enough charge carrier density to conduct your electric pulse but that has insufficient time-averaged intensity to cause thermal burns or start fires (from the laser beam - the electric arc from the EMD waveform might ignite easily flammable items). The UV light can't get past the cornea of the eye, making it fairly eye-safe, and you would need to be exposed to the beam for an extended duration in one spot in order to develop a sunburn.

A detailed investigation is given here
http://panoptesv.com/RPGs/Equipment/...ES_physics.php
Alternate rules that more realistically follow the physics are here
http://panoptesv.com/RPGs/Equipment/...php?TL=10&HR=0
and a conceptual picture of what one might look like is here
http://panoptesv.com/RPGs/Settings/V...ar/Stunner.png

Luke

* Narrow beams lead to higher ionization density in the air, which leads to much faster recombination times, which in turn leads to an increased power needed to keep the current-carrying channels capable of conducting the beam, which leads to a higher risk of thermal burns.
This post is an example of one where I'd love there to be a "like" feature on this message board.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:52 AM   #18
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
That unusual width is definitely something I've never heard of. I love those counter intuitive bits of realistic tech.
A centimeters wide beam of "lightning" would be a bit intimidating, I think.

(I've had your web page in my favorites for ages.)
Heh. Thanks. That is one of the thing I like about thinking through the physics - you get interesting and novel consequences.

In this case, the beams would probably look more like a soft violet glow than the brilliant blue-white incandescence of a lightning strike. Although the arc where the beams contacted the target would make a bright spark.

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Old 06-12-2019, 09:53 AM   #19
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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This post is an example of one where I'd love there to be a "like" feature on this message board.
Thanks!

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:11 AM   #20
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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... The UV light can't get past the cornea of the eye, making it fairly eye-safe...
This part amused me some though. If the beam is where the electricity will go, I'm not sure the laser being safe for the eye matters so much... :)
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