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Proposed plasma technology will it work?

  1. Feb 16, 2007 #1


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    proposed plasma technology......will it work?

    Plasma-Assisted Cutting (PAC) rounds

    Hello everybody. I have a conceptual idea for a futuristic plasma-based weapon that may be used by the military in the future, if it can actually function.

    The idea basically is, that a gun fires a standard explosive round, except during firing, the round is somehow "encased" in a layer of plasma. We all know the penetrative potential of plasma, after all the stuff is used for industial cutting. The resulting plasma-encased round could penetrate through metal, wood, and many materials with ease. Not known for sure, but the plasma coat may also somehow "channel" the round's explosive charge into the target as well.

    That said, there are a considerable number of complications that such a weapon faces if it were to actually be built. Sure it looks good on paper, but how practical is it really? Here are a number of problems that would occur if the construction of such a weapon was to be attempted.

    1. the ionized particles in the plasma would collide with atmospheric particles, causing the plasma to rapidly dissipate
    2. it is unknown how the plasma would stay on the bullet
    3. even if such technology could function, the components would probably be extremely bulky and much too cumbersome to carry around

    Could you please help me assess the various shortcomings of PAC technology, and possibly find a way to overcome them. I'm really dedicated to finding a way for PAC weaponry to become a reality. If there are certain equations I must know in order to create a working diagram of PAC, I'd be more than interested.
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  3. Feb 16, 2007 #2


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    The problem here is that you appear to have almost no knowledge of plasma physics. It isn't just "certain equations". It is a whole branch of study in physics. People devoted their lives in studying this, and considering that a plasma is inherently unstable and extremely susceptible to such instabilities, this isn't an easy field of study.

    Because of that, I don't even know where to start in pointing out what is wrong with your idea. I think if you were to open a plasma physics text, you'll realize just how complex this is.

  4. Feb 16, 2007 #3


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    Thanks for the pointers. Gosh, it's so daunting, all of this. Yes, you're right, I have virtually no understanding of plasma. Actually this concept I got from Star Wars.
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