Sci-Fi weapons

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What do we think re the most powerful sci-fi weapons are that we could realistically envision becoming reality one day. I am wondering if we will ever be able to build anything more powerful than matter / anti-matter explosions like Star Trek's Torpedo's.
 

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  • #2
gmax137
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deathray.JPG


Credit Gahan Wilson
EDIT Charles Addams
 
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  • #4
gmax137
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It's hard to make out the signature, but that looks like a Charles Adams cartoon.
Oh, you're right! My mistake.
 
  • #6
256bits
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Black Hole Bomb
Near the end of its life the rate of emission would be very high and about 1030 erg would be released in the last 0.1 s. This is a fairly small explosion by astronomical standards but it is equivalent to about 1 million 1 Mton hydrogen bombs.
https://www.nature.com/articles/248030a0
 
  • #7
jbriggs444
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Rather than go for brute force planet-destroying rays from a Death Star or world ending missiles, perhaps the ultimate weapon should have rather more finesse. Maybe something with biologicals or nano-technology. Possibly something like the Zap Gun from Phillip K Dick -- key in the target's name and *zap*, they are dead.

If you want pure brute force, how about triggering a decay from a current (hypothetical) false vacuum state, destroying the entire observable universe at the speed of light.
 
  • #8
nsaspook
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If we make these weapons how do we control them?
 
  • #9
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Black Hole Bomb
Near the end of its life the rate of emission would be very high and about 1030 erg would be released in the last 0.1 s. This is a fairly small explosion by astronomical standards but it is equivalent to about 1 million 1 Mton hydrogen bombs.
https://www.nature.com/articles/248030a0

Is this something we think we could conceivably use one day? Seems like we would need to create the black hole just before we send it which seems outside our reach.
 
  • #10
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Nicoll-Dyson Beam

I like the fact that the Nicoll-Dyson Beam is capable of hitting a target in the local group of galaxies. If the ansible has been invented I foresee some trouble with "fire -and-forget" systems along the lines of:

"Yeah well it's all well and good that we're friends now, but I'm afraid we sent you a gift which wont arrive for a couple of million years. Do you have some good shades?"

To ramp it up to 11, because that's what we human invariable do, imagine a technologically society able to manipulate gravity on a micrscopic level. Ofcourse, such a society would hardly bother with laserbeams. Still imagine bending the space around a star so each and every photon had but one way to go. No waste of a single photon and no thermodynamical loss. That would makeup a Nicoll-Dyson Beam look like a flashligt. OTOH, a society with capability would probably use the galaxtic equivalent of a giant flyswatter. :)






Casaba-Howitzer

The site Atomic Rockets had a competition about what to write on the business end of the device. "Front Towards Enemy" was beaten hands down by "Say Cheese". :)

And just for the heck of it here's an article from http://arxiv.org:

Integrating AI Into Weapon Systems


I'm sure I can come up with more.....


Regards,
Søren
 
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  • #11
BWV
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Nukes and projectile weapons are always underrated in Sci Fi
 
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  • #12
Is this something we think we could conceivably use one day? Seems like we would need to create the black hole just before we send it which seems outside our reach.

Depends on the day! If it's tomorrow, thankfully not, but a day tens of thousands of years from now, even with fits and starts in our understanding of physics and applied engineering, then it seems possible.

By then, we might be throwing dark energy grenades at each other, which unravel the local spacetime topology and rip your opponents apart before petering out as they run out of puff.

Or, we might unleash causality clusterf**ks, which randomise entropy at various scales within a set period of time, obliterating anyone, thing, or alien entity unfortunate enough to encounter them.

Or, you might ensnare your enemies in big bang bomblets, little bubbles stretched from the multiverse that entrap your enemies before their inherent energy snaps them back, pinching whoever is encased in them off from our reality, never to be seen again.

The sky is the limit in sci-fi, and if your constraint is "conceivably" and "one day" you need to dictate what those parameters are :cool:
 
  • #13
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What do we think re the most powerful sci-fi weapons are that we could realistically envision becoming reality one day. I am wondering if we will ever be able to build anything more powerful than matter / anti-matter explosions like Star Trek's Torpedo's.
How about generating big solar flares.
 
  • #14
BWV
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Which is more destructive - using a given amount of antimatter as a bomb, or using it to accelerate a massive object to relativistic speeds as a projectile?
 
  • #15
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Generating solar flares would require whatever you want to hit being stationary I would assume. I'm not aware how we use antimatter to accelerate an object.

Overall I guess I meant what can we possible achieve in the next say 500 years. I'm not convinced anything in post #12 we will ever be able to achieve.
 
  • #16
Overall I guess I meant what can we possible achieve in the next say 500 years.
Aha, that would have been useful to know earlier, @MikeeMiracle.

In that case, you can probably discount Star Trek as a reference, it's surely more than five centuries out. And antimatter anything as a weapon is probably out in five hundred years as well, the stuff is really hard to safely contain. Possibly, unifying QM and GR will result in some useful ordnance, and perhaps understanding dark matter / energy might as well, but that's speculative on that time period.

I'm not convinced anything in post #12 we will ever be able to achieve.
Me neither, but it's fun to speculate and we are in the sci-fi forum after all!

Which is more destructive - using a given amount of antimatter as a bomb, or using it to accelerate a massive object to relativistic speeds as a projectile?
I'm voting for the antimatter bomb, @BWV, on the basis that you'll lose energy accelerating your object.
 
  • #17
BWV
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I'm voting for the antimatter bomb, @BWV, on the basis that you'll lose energy accelerating your object.
but i could hold a bullet, strike the firing pin and it would not kill me, but the same energy contained within the firing chamber of a gun would make the bullet lethal

as a bomb, the energy would dissipate in all direction, but channeled to accelerate a projectile to relativistic speeds?
 
  • #18
256bits
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Or, we might unleash causality clusterf**ks, which randomise entropy at various scales within a set period of time, obliterating anyone, thing, or alien entity unfortunate enough to encounter them.
we already have that.
What else could you call social media.:))
 
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  • #19
256bits
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500 years is a long time. Why just less than a hundred it was fashionable in those barbaric times for women to wear a dead animal around their necks, and some time before that men used what looks like the insides of an engine filter as a collar to look dashing. Never mind the coal they had to chuck, and the oil they had to squeeze form whales.

A mis-information bomb can work wonders to disrupt the enemy.
[ Come to think of it, do information theorists treat mis-information the same way as information ]

Start with some mild propaganda 'Your leader wears diapers, and eats chicken abortions and cabbage for breakfast', 'You miss your momma, She doesn't miss you.' Sow some doubt in their fighting ability ' You buddy next to you will lose an eye, your other buddy will lose a knee cap. You, oh great fierce and grand fighter will suffer the heroics of a chipped finger nail.'

Then a barrage of quantum mis-information wave function artillery. Sort of like an EMP, but rather than zap sensitive electronics, it alters the wave function so that systems act as not they were expected, Or rather, the outcome of the processes may or may not be relied upon as being unitary.
 
  • #20
but i could hold a bullet, strike the firing pin and it would not kill me, but the same energy contained within the firing chamber of a gun would make the bullet lethal
You could, which just shows the consequence of either depends entirely on how they are used. Both are awesome sci-fi staples, and I'm using the kinetic energy option in my current novel, though it's not AM powered. My 'object' is a ring of plasma accelerated by a 12km long rail gun, I haven't fired it yet, but I'm looking forward to writing that part, it's coming up soon :biggrin:
 
  • #21
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The site Atomic Rockets had a competition about what to write on the business end of the device. "Front Towards Enemy" was beaten hands down by "Say Cheese". :)

I'm partial toward "Humanitarian Aid."
 
  • #22
A mis-information bomb can work wonders to disrupt the enemy.
[ Come to think of it, do information theorists treat mis-information the same way as information ]
There Is No Antimemetics Division by qntm is a terrific (mind bending) novel along these lines, it's well worth a read.
 

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