The owie stick

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

I had a general idea back in the day dubed "the owie stick". after seeing the movie "district 9", about how the "lightning gun" the main character used would or could work in a real life situation. I looked at it as a big tazer and thought if you shoot multiple conductive darts, one right after the other, into the air, with a wire trail behind them and when the head dart hits the target, send a signal to your gun to release a "marxx generator" cap bank. So you could, in theory, "throw lightning".
This was more of a cool toy at the time, but then I pitched the idea to a friend who happned to have a GREAT idea. He had been experimenting with krypton isotopes and discovered that one in particular behaves like a liquid in a vortex when in its gas state. It being radioactive (more on which isotope later) it ionizes the air causing it to conduct electricity in the wake of a rocket. That being said, you would only need one "dart" to carry your current to your potential target.
Thoughts?
Questions?
Concerns?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
18
0
Why bother? It only works if your original bullet hits the target in which case you don't need the lightning. Though it works great as an offhand explanation for directed lightning guns in scifi literature.
 
  • #3
The idea is to send an em pulse to whatever you're trying to disable...........^2
Think outside the box.
 
  • #4
18
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Telling people to think outside the box is low grade marketing hogwash.


Emp pulses? That's great if you are engaging in mech warfare, and as stated that would be a great idea for a scifi explanation of a weapon. But it's not really a great fit for the real world.
Again, whatever you are trying to disable would get hit by the projectile. The idea is great scifi but really, you would most often be better off just putting explosives in the projectile, it's less complex, has much lower requirements for the projection mechanism and is much more reliable.
 
  • #5
One em em pulse is cheaper than an explosive. Look at it from all sides. 30 000 dollar high explosive, or a cheap electric pulse. You be the judge.
"i can disable a tank from 100 yards with a grinade, or a tazer...
 
  • #6
18
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You don't need high explosives, and most the time you wouldn't even need explosives at all, what are you shooting at? A car, a plane, a tank? In two cases your better of with a simple projectile and in the last you wouldn't be able to form a proper current conducting line anyway, and the em pulse likely wouldn't do anything. Also building the actual cannon to supply the pulse, plus the huge batteries needed in order to have more then one shot is not cheep.

Please explain a usage scenario, where a conventional weapon wouldn't do but you hypothetical weapon would do, then argue why anyone would want to spend the next 20 years trying to develop it because of that scenario.
 
  • #7
Drakkith
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
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I looked at it as a big tazer and thought if you shoot multiple conductive darts, one right after the other, into the air, with a wire trail behind them and when the head dart hits the target, send a signal to your gun to release a "marxx generator" cap bank. So you could, in theory, "throw lightning".
They already do this with tazers. So you want to do a big tazer?

He had been experimenting with krypton isotopes and discovered that one in particular behaves like a liquid in a vortex when in its gas state. It being radioactive (more on which isotope later) it ionizes the air causing it to conduct electricity in the wake of a rocket. That being said, you would only need one "dart" to carry your current to your potential target.
I guarantee you this isn't going to happen. I don't know which particular isotope you're talking about, but it either isn't going to decay fast enough, you wouldn't be able to get enough of it to cause the effect you want, you wouldn't be able to store it long enough to be useful (because it decays quickly), and there are multiple political/environmental/social barriers about shooting radioactive material into the air.

One em em pulse is cheaper than an explosive. Look at it from all sides. 30 000 dollar high explosive, or a cheap electric pulse. You be the judge.
"i can disable a tank from 100 yards with a grinade, or a tazer...
Many military vehicles are shielded from EMP's. Especially things like tanks. And explosives aren't that expensive. A MK84 2,000 lb bomb is less than $2,000.
 
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  • #8
Never said it was practical. Just possable. The general theory is to make, the path, of least resistance between you and your target as small as possable.
Ps, it is unfathomably dificult to shield something from an emp, faraday cages useful for small balsts, but givin enough energy you can achieve significant damage.
this idea was originally for air to air combat. (givin high air speeds the isotopes are useless) so dart/wire would be more usefull.
 
  • #9
berkeman
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@microfracture -- The PF does not allow discussions of dangerous activities. Please re-read the Rules link at the top of the page.
 

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