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Old 06-12-2019, 12:32 PM   #31
Anthony
 
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
That's kind of how I visualized it - a miniature lightning bolt, constrained to the width of the beam. Two of them, really, since it's a circuit. Realistically, the electrical discharge probably isn't strong enough to create a visible effect within the beam - although I'd be very happy to be wrong about that.
It should be visible in low light conditions (the beam itself will also be visible, even if the spark doesn't fire, as a faint bluish beam, as the nitrogen de-ionizes).
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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
More brainstorming: is it possible for a target to carry a charged capacitor that delivers a blowback overcharged voltage to the attacker's gun? What happens to the gun if it gets a 100 kV charge instead of the 50 kV it operates at?
It's hard to see how you'd get it to fire properly, but likely nothing of interest unless you use something powerful enough that it will be quite hazardous for you. The weapon already has to deal with fairly large variations due to different environments, so it should be pretty surge tolerant.
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Last edited by Anthony; 06-12-2019 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:23 PM   #32
doctorevilbrain
 
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

"Someone who calls themselves doctor evilbrain"? Oh, please. Do you actually think I'm a doctor, or evil? I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on tv. Only Americans will get that reference. Could an Electrolaser be used as a burgler's tool? What about the flashlight that could start fires?
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:43 PM   #33
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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"Someone who calls themselves doctor evilbrain"? Oh, please. Do you actually think I'm a doctor, or evil? I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on tv. Only Americans will get that reference. Could an Electrolaser be used as a burgler's tool? What about the flashlight that could start fires?
A burglar's tool for what? If you've got convenient FPS-puzzle style exposed security electronics, you could probably kill them with it. But in a sane world, I can't think of much interesting to shoot it at other than humans or other animals.

An extremely bright light source and something that may set the area on fire are both things that a burglar generally does not want.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:20 PM   #34
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Bio-tech p.215.

That entry cites "gengineering or biomods" as source for muscles that are stronger than the bones they're attached to. Steroids aren't quite "biomods" and I suppose a bodybuilder could manage to do it even without using steroids but it's probably quite a rare condition in the contemporary world.
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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
BT215, as Fred notes. It's meant for muscles that either aren't properly attached, or are properly attached but are stronger than what your bones can handle. Basically, it means using your full strength (not even going to Extra Effort) runs the risk of injury or crippling, as the muscles lack proper support structure.
Ah. In that case, being hit by an electrolaser should cause you to "use" your full strength, running all the risks that voluntary use would cause.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:34 PM   #35
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

What about having a dazzler carbine with an underbarrel electrolaser? You could temporarily blind a target at a distance or shock them to submission when they are close.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:37 PM   #36
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I would expect the electrical current to further ionize the air to create lower resistance channels and spark-like paths, though they would likely wander across the width of the laser.
The dynamics here should be interesting. The cascade breakdown limit is 3 MV/m, and the initial voltage spike for a taser is about 50 kV. The sparse ionization caused by the laser shouldn't be enough to substantially change the cascade breakdown limit, so the maximum length of an arc of plasma is full breakdown mode would be on the order of a cm or two. If you are shooting someone more than a few cm away, the electric field would be insufficient to accelerate the electrons liberated by the laser to energies high enough to cause further ionization, so you will not get a full-on electric spark.

On the other hand, in many conductors you do have an instability where any slight increase in current in one area increases the temperature a bit through Ohmic heating, which raises the conductivity, which increases the current further, which increases the temperature, and so forth. This is a well-known cause of breakdown in semiconductors (but not metals, where increased temperature decreases the conductivity). In an ideal gas, the mobility of particles decreases with temperature
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electr...y_in_gas_phase
so instead of an instability tending to concentrate the current into thin channels (like in semiconductors) you get a stable system that will tend to distribute the current evenly across the beam (like in metals) - if the current gets a bit higher in one place, the temperature increases, the conductivity drops in that area and the current decreases again. (When I started typing this out, I expected the instability to go the other way, until I looked up the actual relation).

So it looks like lightning-like channels within the beam are not likely.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:44 PM   #37
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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If these are common enough, what countermeasures would people possibly be equipping themselves with? Conductor-threaded clothing? Metallic paint on the skin? Is it possible to ground the charge somehow? How about water mist sprayers or ionised mist sprayers?
Conductive thread would work, or just wear a layer of aluminum foil under your shirt. Metallic paint might work - I don't know how conductive it is. You don't need grounding, you just need to short the beams into each other across a conductive surface.

Water mist sprayers would shorten the range somewhat (water increases the ion recombination rate in the laser channels, making it harder for the electricity to go as far), but since the mist is probably only in your immediate vicinity this will not have all that much of an effect. Instead, it might make your skin wet, which decreases the electrical resistance of your skin and makes you more susceptible to the shock. So probably not a good idea.

I'm not sure if an ionized mist sprayer could deliver a high enough charge carrier density to adequately short out the beam.

And, as Anthony mentioned, if you can't be stunned you might just end up being shot, so it could introduce additional dangers.

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Old 06-12-2019, 10:51 PM   #38
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
More brainstorming: is it possible for a target to carry a charged capacitor that delivers a blowback overcharged voltage to the attacker's gun? What happens to the gun if it gets a 100 kV charge instead of the 50 kV it operates at?
It seems like it would be tricky to implement. You would need one beam to make electrical contact with one and only one capacitor plate. How would you ensure that the beams land on you exactly where you want them to?

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Old 06-12-2019, 11:14 PM   #39
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
It seems like it would be tricky to implement. You would need one beam to make electrical contact with one and only one capacitor plate. How would you ensure that the beams land on you exactly where you want them to?

Luke
I was thinking of it in combination with conductive threads, working like a surge protector.
Ahh.. but that would be in parallel to the stun charge, whereas surge protectors and such are in series in the circuit.
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Old 06-13-2019, 06:40 PM   #40
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Default Re: (Ultra Tech) How realistic are Electrolasers?

A burgler's tool for melting locks.
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