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forum Astrophysics and cosmology DIY Plasma weapon (5 posts)
joined November 28, 2007
225 forum posts
databit - december 14, 2007

DIY Plasma weapon

This is the forum that seems to come closest to this topic, and I do not consider it fiction, so I wanted it under science.

How to make a plasma weapon.

Technology has reached a point where a rudimentary plasma weapon is possible. Designing it with today’s technology would require a weapon about the size of an entire tank and require a very large power source. Mobility of the weapon would be very limited due to these requirements and it would likely have to be a stationary weapon.
Large power source
Carbon pellets
Super conducting materials
Coolant system for superconductors
High powered microwave emitter

How it would work:
The weapon would consist of two major parts, the chamber and the barrel.
The weapon is primed by the insertion of a carbon pellet into the chamber that is held in the center of the chamber using diamagnetic levitation.
A high powered microwave emitter (MASER) is focused on the pellet which gains an electrical charge from the microwave energy.
The weapon is charged when the pellet becomes supercharged and reaches a plasma state.
To fire the weapon, the diamagnetic forces are focused to push the pellet from the chamber and into the barrel.
The barrel is a tubular chamber consisting of many superconducting electromagnets that operating in a series to expel the pellet from the barrel at a very high rate of speed (a la rail gun).
The chamber and the barrel would be insulated from allowing electrical discharge from the pellet, so the plasma ball should keep a steady amount of energy until it leaves the barrel. Upon exiting the barrel, the plasma ball will no longer be under the influence of the superconducting magnets or the insulating shielding. Momentum will mostly control the direction and speed of the plasma ball at this point, but accuracy could be diminished over a distance due to the nature of a plasma ball. Also, friction with air particles may cause a loss of electrons from the Plasma ball and thus some charge could be lost over a distance.
The target, upon being hit with the plasma ball would suffer heat burns as well as a massive electrical discharge. This would be particularly effective against electronic equipment.

It is a rudimentary plasma weapon, has limited range and accuracy, but I think it could be the introduction into plasma weapons.

This is also of my own design and based upon my personal knowledge of physics, so part or all of this could be incorrect, but I think the theory is fairly sound.

I will not be held responsible for any persons or nations that build this weapon as it is all based on currently available technology.


My solar Systems: Allshalloweve (QKH397)
joined June 21, 2007
527 forum posts
physicsguy - april 29, 2008

Coil Gun

This sounds like a coil (or Gauss) gun, and similar to the MAHEM project. (links at and

The problem with microwaves (even coherent ones) is they could liberate electrons, but you'd need an independent way to strip them off to give your projectile a net (positive) charge. Otherwise, the recombination times would be much faster than the projectile transit time. You could maybe utilize a potential difference to liberate the lighter electrons. Second, plasmas are good screeners of electric and magnetic fields, so the ability to levitate it may not be sufficient to keep it from contacting the barrel. I think carbon is an interesting idea as it is an insulator and more tolerant of a net charge.

joined November 28, 2007
225 forum posts
databit - april 30, 2008

Plasma balls

Thanks for the great input on that. I was not familiar with the coil gun but will definatly check it out.

The idea about the plasma balls using carbon stemmed from home plasma experiments where a candle is put into a microwave lit and the mircowave is turned on (Please do not attempt). The carbon in the smoke becomes charged and a plasma ball is formed that moves around inside the microwave.

Control of the created plasma ball could possibly be obtained through magnetic fields to direct its movement.


My solar Systems: Allshalloweve (QKH397)
joined June 21, 2007
527 forum posts
physicsguy - april 30, 2008

You'd need a similar density of carbon for this to work as a weapon. A candle flame is very low density, so the microwaves can get good penetration and energy distribution. For a weapon-scale item, you'd want your projectile to be dense - both for generating a good charge, and for good energy content.

The problem with plasma weapons is they don't do their jobs very well. If you want electromagnetic energy distribution, you use your MASER or other microwave weapon directly. If you're looking for thermal energy effects, you use a laser. For kinetic energy, you use a standard projectile weapon. Plasmas are hot, but they're thermal energy contents are low, they consiste of seperated charges, but in the bulk they're typically quasi-neutral, and a lot of them are low density, and the high density ones are notoriously unstable.

joined May 31, 2013
2 forum posts
ferret21 - august 28, 2013

Pros and Cons

If all of these opinions were taken into account would it really be worth all of the trouble. Laser weaponry is a lot more feasible. I do not know what one would be more powerful. If some one could explain what would be a better type of weapon, or give me some resources that would be great. Thanks.

Message has been edited - august 28, 2013

My solar Systems: none
forum Astrophysics and cosmology DIY Plasma weapon (5 posts)

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