Seven Sci-Fi Weapons from Tomorrow Are Here Today

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by common_sense_seeker, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. Actual Facts Banned Banned

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    Water is mentioned in the document. Does that mean you think water isn't historical?

    1 billion Hindus certainly don't think their history is fictional.

    I happen to agree with them.
     
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  3. Echo3Romeo One man wolfpack Registered Senior Member

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    Aren't yet here?
     
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  5. superstring01 Moderator

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    In the USA we pronounce the "H" (pronounced "aich" here, and not "haich" like in the UK), thus it's "an" except for the rare person who slides smoothly from the article to the noun: "anistorical" instead of "a historical". English has no "rulebook" like French and Spanish (despite many linguistic conservatives' consternation). English is the ultimate democratic language: it can change and adapt freely without some snooty, stuffy Acadamie dictating what is, and what is not proper. Whatever people say is correct. Thus, when we say, "I have gotten" in the USA and the Brits say, "I have got", both are acceptable. We spell "labor" Brits spell "labour". We spell "program" Brits spell "programme".

    Just one of the many differences between nations.

    ~String
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
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  7. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    I wonder if we can design a rail gun pistol. That would be cool. Tinkerers get to work. The technology is simple, all you need is some superconducting material to increase flux density.
     
  8. superstring01 Moderator

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    Didn't Arnold Schwarzenegger use one in one of his movies? The one with Venessa Williams. . . (checking Wikipedia. . . ) "Eraser". That was it.

    ~String
     
  9. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Not the prop...the real stuff. Also a pistol was used by operatives from the future in a sci-fi movie that were witnessing past accidents, but can not remember the name.
     
  10. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    I see you have comprehension problems.
    I stated "that doesn't mean the items mentioned in that document are", what you seem to have read is "that means ALL items mentioned aren't".

    Except that there's no evidence.
     
  11. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    4,955
    Actual Facts is the latest sock puppet of the award winning crank OilIsMastery. Don't bother trying to counter his nonsense, his latest alt will join his previous ones soon enough.
     
  12. Echo3Romeo One man wolfpack Registered Senior Member

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    Can you imagine what the felt recoil would be from a handheld railgun? A .45 ACP round typically leaves the barrel at 300m/s with ~570J of muzzle energy. At ten times that velocity, which the US Navy has demonstrated already, the shooter would experience 100 times the felt recoil.

    My favorite part of Eraser was when Arnold gets a railgun under each arm and calmly walks around punching fist-sized holes through everything without so much as a hair of recoil.
     
  13. Actual Facts Banned Banned

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    It's neither my concern nor my fault you have no evidence.

    If you want to make a persuasive case I suggest you find some.
     
  14. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    I see you also like to compound your idiocy.
     
  15. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Millenium?
    If I remember correctly the story it was based on, Air Raid by John Varley, stated that the pistols were "stun guns" souped up to provide a frightening "futuristic sci-fi look" to overwhelm any modern-day observers.
     
  16. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    I found it.

    It is The Time Shifters
     
  17. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    To Dy

    Re medical knowledge.

    I said I could live with the description "large portion". That is because "large portion" does not mean "most'. It just means more than a little. That I can live with, even if it implies more than it should. There are some medical advances that came from military research, though far more came from civilian research.

    Where I am unhappy with your message, is your denial that more potent military technology means more people killed. To me, the fact that making military technology more potent means more deaths, is so obvious, and so well supported by history, that I find a denial incredulous.

    Take the Maxim machine gun - the first fully portable machine gun, and the first to run off a belt.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxim_gun

    I quote :

    "The Maxim gun was first used by Britain's colonial forces in the First Matabele War in Rhodesia, in 1893-1894. During the Battle of the Shangani, 50 soldiers fought off 5,000 warriors with just four Maxim guns. The gun played an important role in the swift European colonization of Africa in the late 19th century. The extreme lethality was employed to devastating effect against obsolete charging tactics, when native opponents could be lured into pitched battles in open terrain. "

    A clear cut example of more potent military technology leading to more battlefield fatalities.
     
  18. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Please re-read my statement. I didn't mention "military research". The advances came from necessity: battlefield surgery of casualties.

    And yet you still ignore the quote I posted which contradicts that.
    Supported by history?
    Again you're ignoring that wars got larger. Which was not so much a function of military technology but society itself. And, by your own admission:
    Yet how does pre-50s military tech compare to that after 1950? Guided missiles, jet aircraft, personal automatic weapons (the assault rifle), etc. ALL in far more widespread service post 1950 than pre.
     
  19. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

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    1,449
    Dy

    Fortunately, social evolution is having a bigger impact on wartime fatalities than advances in military technology. As I have said, repeatedly, the reason for fewer wars (especially small local wars) is the elimination of isolationism. The world is evolving socially towards the 'global village' in which our political neighbours are becoming our friends.

    The biggest wartime loss of life ever was WWII. Today, such a war is not possible, due to the cooperation between what were enemies back then. Even the old 'nemesis' of the west - China - is now a trading partner, and far more interested in improving trade relations than military confrontation with its previous 'enemy'.

    Today, we see a number of 'brush wars'. Small time conflicts that kill people in their hundreds of thousands, where previously major wars killed millions.

    In spite of this, the fatalities that do occur are to be regretted. The number of such fatalities is kept high by the fact that modern, highly destructive, military technology is in use.

    Of the seven weapons listed in this thread, perhaps the one that scares me the most is the robot soldier. The tracked vehicle carrying a machine gun. This removes the risk factor from those wielding the robot, thus removing the major disincentive to combat. The USA in Afghanistan already uses air probes carrying rockets. This unfortunate development means attacks occurring in places where, previously, it was too risky to send a manned aricraft.

    I am not a supporter of the modern wars America is involved in. The invasion of Iraq was just plain wrong! And the invasion of Afghanistan was just plain stupid! There are better ways of achieving the goals that Bush junior claimed he was chasing. And any tools that reduce the disincentive to such acts of aggression are to be deplored.
     
  20. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Sadly superconducting materials aren't really good for railguns, because there is a limit to how much flux density a superconductor can handle before it stops superconducting. The flux densities involved in railguns are much too high. Ditto for electrical currents; with the currents involved in firing a rail gun, a superconductor would stop superconducting, and turn into a grenade. You also run into lots of engineering problems (like electrical arching between the rails) when the railgun is small and the rails relatively close together. So, yeah...a railgun pistol would probably be really really hard to make.
     
  21. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    This makes sense. An AK47 is a more dangerous weapon then a spear or sword, but having guns allows two groups of unenthusiastic soldiers to sit relatively far apart and behind cover, sporadically firing poorly-aimed shots at each other. That would count as a "battle," but it's probably a lot less dangerous than a mass sword or spear fight.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  22. kmguru Staff Member

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    11,757
    Did you do any real calculations before making those comments?

    Are you saying that a super-conducting coil will not increase the Force in F=NI. Granted flux saturation can be a problem, but taking it to a limit of the material can be workable if calculation proves it can.

    Besides, a rail gun works by moving the magnetic flux ahead. So even if a single super conducting coil has limited Force, a series will provide enough energy to propel a magnetic material.

    Have you seen a large electric stapler? It works using magnetic flux. Make a series of them, I am sure one rail gun pistol just might work.
     
  23. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    No, but so far as I know the record for highest critical current possible in a superconductor was something like 100 kA/cm^2, and most rail guns seem to use currents much much higher than that - in the millions of amps or more. I'm not really sure about the 100 kA figure, so someone correct me if there's newer info. Also the 100 kA range assumes you're willing to have your superconducting rails/projectile submerged in liquid nitrogen, which would be kind of a design challenge for a pistol...

    And then there's the small matter of a power source able to supply enough current but small enough to fit in a pistol.
     

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