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Ion Cannon

  1. Oct 11, 2007 #1
    Is it possible to build an ion cannon(it's a super weapon that orbits around the earth in space) with the technology we currently have or will have within the next 5-10 yrs???
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2007 #2
    I seriously doubt that ion cannons could be made into a superweapon, because if you think about what it actually is, all it is is a stream of ionized atoms, and so will have very little destructive power (mainly because of the atmosphere), and what's more, if the weapon was fired from space, then rocket boosters would have 2 be fired at the same time to counter-act the force from accelerating the particles, and so the maintenance cost would be huge, so even if such a weapon could be made using current technology, it would cost so much that I don't think you could justify the building of it (this is especially true given how in warfare now, the enemy is rarely a nation, but terrorists).
  4. Oct 12, 2007 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    What's an ion cannon? I play Command and Conquer, and there is something called an "ion cannon" in that game and it is a "superweapon". But the game is fiction and no such thing exists or is even on a drawing board anywhere. And as ppyadof was saying, firing ions probaly wouldn't make a useful weapon.
  5. Oct 14, 2007 #4

    Yeah, thats true. The ion cannon as depicted on that game is not really based on anything plausible. In many cases games like this usually use names that only serve as eye candy or the weapons are based on silly physics in order to balance things out to make the game more fun...

    As for directed energy weapons in general, lasers and microwave weapons are being pursued as a form of missile defense or non-lethal weapons.

    And I know they are experimenting with ionized plasma to serve as a shield against radar, since plasma absorbs it.
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