Questions on Direct Energy Weapons

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I’m trying to find get some information on the theoretical limits of direct energy weapons, particularly particle weapons. Hopefully these questions require no special knowledge of such systems and will instead rely on knowledge of basic or particle physics. I’m a layman here so please if you choose to answer any of these things keep them in the lowest common denominator. This for my own curiosity, I’m interested both in weapons systems and military doctrine, beyond that there is no purpose.

What are the theoretical ranges of laser and particle weapons in different environments, i.e. space, earth atmosphere, earth’s magnetic field?

Could the energy of terrestrial or extraterrestrial events cause problems for particle beams, i.e. thunder storms, solar flares?

Would substantial radiation, say from the sun or a nuclear detonation is close proximity to a beam, cause interference with a particle beam?

Would a vacuum cause a deterioration of a particle beam? Would it deteriorate naturally? Would a laser beam deteriorate naturally?

Could electrical or magnetic fields or pulses be used to disrupt charged particle beams?
What, if anything, could interrupt/disperse a neutral particle beam?

Would an intersection of a particle beam with another particle beam of equal strength and composition, or possible different, result in a full or partial scattering, dispersion or interruption of the first beam?

Could particle weapons be used in another form, i.e. field?

This is more of a material science question, but what if any materials could be used to shield a target from particle weapons?

Thanks for your time,

-Stoneghost
 

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