Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Navy Tests Incredible Sci-Fi Weapon

  1. May 27, 2008 #1

    Evo

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Good Grief.

    http://www.livescience.com/technology/080201-electromagnetic-record.html

    Then the Germans are working on evironmentally friendly explosives.

    Environmentally Friendly Bombs Planned

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080527/sc_livescience/environmentallyfriendlybombsplanned
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2008 #2
    Railguns are pretty cool, I remember reading about them in SciAM or PopSci a year or two ago. There are some pretty cool railgun videos out on the web if you do a quick Youtube search. They can shoot up to about 52,000 feet per second...I want one.
     
  4. May 27, 2008 #3
    I've been around weapons much of my career and I got more and more disgusted by the idea. What purpose would a gadget like this serve? Sure, you can take a 700,000$ maverick, hit a target precisely and kill X$ worth of hardware and take Y human lives. You could also buy $20 dollars something worth of chemicals and sneak in your home made bomb on the right spot and and kill X$ worth of hardware and take Y human lives.

    But why was it necesary to kill X$ worth of hardware and take Y human lives? Because both enemy camps were utterly convinced that the opponent were the worst crooks ever and the right thing to do is to spend 700,000$ or 20$ to be able to and kill X$ worth of hardware and Y take human lives. Why not spend 700,000$ or 20$ and buy that opponent a beer and have some laughs at the bar. You can't believe how effective that was in Europe after dropping the Berlin wall.
     
  5. May 27, 2008 #4

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'd go out and make a lot of enemies right now if they promised to spend $700,000 buying me beer!
     
  6. May 27, 2008 #5
    Alas, such a deep thought smottered by greed.
     
  7. May 27, 2008 #6

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl:
     
  8. May 27, 2008 #7

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'll share some of that beer with you...I promise!
     
  9. May 27, 2008 #8
    Anyone else notice the fire coming out the back of the rail gun shell?

    I wonder what the recoil of the gun is?


    From the article, it increases the guns range by an order of magnitude and eliminates the need to store explosive shells on board ships. Neato!
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  10. May 27, 2008 #9

    Kurdt

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I wish half as much effort went into not trying to kill each other in ever more powerful and ingenious ways.
     
  11. May 27, 2008 #10

    turbo

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    That shot was of the rail-gun projectile emerging from a target. The target was vaporized, which is why you see flames. High-temperature, well-dispersed material in the presence of Oxygen has a tendency to burn very energetically. This includes vaporized metals.
     
  12. May 27, 2008 #11

    Astronuc

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    It depends on the mass and acceleration of course. Back in the 1980's, I visited a facility that built rail guns. It was pretty interesting. I remember projectile velocities on the order of km/s.

    I imagine the Navy will be using jacketed DU shells with penetrator nosecones in some cases.
     
  13. May 27, 2008 #12
    Thanks!! I may have a Guinness later. Meanwhile you could use the rest of the money to explain that we are all in this together, regardless of race, ethnics or whatever. No reason to try and kill each other,
     
  14. May 27, 2008 #13
    Sad, isn't it? How much did the government spend on cancer research in 2007? 5 billion dollars. How much on millitary? 600 billion. No one loves war like the US! :!!)
     
  15. May 27, 2008 #14
    Out of curiosity, how much did the rest of the world spend on cancer research?
     
  16. May 27, 2008 #15
    • (1) This is really irrelevant
    • (2) This is misleading if you do not also ask how much did the rest of the world spend on military
     
  17. May 27, 2008 #16
    I think that this is an unfair comparison, facing reality. One of the wised quotes is from Eisenhower: "speak softly but carry a big stick". You can only offer your adversary a beer if you're convinced that there is a chance that he'll accept it. You'd need to find a reason to convince him why it's useless to continue hostilities. One of the major things there is to concede that you, yourself are reluctant to do that, (althought you could). Cyberweapons are most definitely the wrong signal.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2008
  18. May 27, 2008 #17
    Ok, then I'll also ask how much did the rest of the world spend on their military.

    I dont see why its irrelevant to compare how much the US spent on cancer research compared to the rest of the world. If we are world leaders in cancer research, then THAT says something about the US.
     
  19. May 27, 2008 #18

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I played with rail guns some years ago... what a blast; literally! I wonder what they are using for the energy storage. We used capacitors, but people were also playing with homopolar generators. In our case the ESR of the caps, and, interestingly, the firing switch, were the two biggest problems. It turns out that making large fast switches is a problem in its own right. Some people were using one-time switches, but we ended up using a rather clever approach: A low-current, high-voltage arc was used to establish a conductive path for the high-current, lower voltage discharge from the main capacitor bank, which worked pretty well. Anyway, fun stuff.
     
  20. May 27, 2008 #19

    Borek

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    At the same time if you are world leaders in military spendings that TOO says something.

    It leads nowhere - all these arguments can be easily reversed.

    I am opening a beer as a sign of peace :wink:
     
  21. May 27, 2008 #20

    Ivan Seeking

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Once again Andre derails a thread with a personal agenda.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Navy Tests Incredible Sci-Fi Weapon
Loading...