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Join Date: Dec 2007
02-08-2012, 08:19 AM
This old argument again! I think people argue just for the sake of argument.
Anyway, as a person who works around lasers that are powerful enough to be weapons, I’ll say this about the Star Wars weaponry power output argument; turbo laser weapons do thermal damage. That is, damage by extreme heat. The US, NATO and Israeli Militaries have been experimenting with rapid pulse laser weaponry to shoot down enemy missiles, aircraft, mortars and artillery shells. “Turbo-laser” might actually go from Sci-Fi to real life.
Anyway, in effect, you may exert a very large amount of electrical or chemical energy to get a highly concentrated beam of direct energy in the form of intense light that is transferred to the end point or target in the form of heat energy.
Now, for that heat energy to be effective it must make contact with the target. This is a no brainer! The thermal heat damage is caused by melting and/or extremely rapid heating of the material the laser is making contact with, as in, rapid expansion caused by the heating of a substance from a solid to a liquid, gas or even plasma. This rapid heating effect may cause explosions if the material is heated rapidly enough and conducive to combustion.
Anyway, in Star Trek Science Fiction, ships use this little understood shield technology that would in effect eliminate a laser weapons ability to effect or interact with the ship’s hull or solid materials. Therefore, there cannot be a transfer of the thermal energy to the ship. Therefore no damage will be suffered. It is really that simple to understand.
Now, the cool thing about Star Wars is that laser weapons seen in those movies are actually not really that farfetched. Neither is the deflector shield technology! NASA Scientists have already created plasma, ion and Magnetic shield technologies that will protect Astronauts sometime in the future from background radiation, highly charged very fast moving particles and to some extent, solar wind.
As for Star Trek, we already have a bunch of Technologies from this science fiction show. If anyone is interested, there is a contest to make the first real Tricorder for real medical use. It was in an article on MSNBC just a few weeks ago. For other technologies, just use google! It is really cool how much was inspired from the TV shows.