Main Magnetic Weapons Discussion

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06:57:51 AM Sep 19th 2014
Real Life examples require Real Life physics. Therefore, I use the following reason:

"Youtube commentators are not a source of information. Cite a source if you continue to assert the claim about "friction igniting air." No such phenomena happens at any observed speed, or else hypersonic aircraft (which travel /faster/ than the projectile in this demonstration) would be flying fireballs. The cloud in the video is likely ionized air and debris from the massive electric discharge."

To edit out this line: "See the flame that looks like a rocket exhaust? it's actually fire from the friction with air."

I'll invite any contrary troper or devil's advocate to either negate my understanding or substantiate it further by posting a resource under this topic.
07:49:56 AM Sep 19th 2014
Well, it's natter anyhow so its removal is a good thing.
12:07:35 PM Sep 19th 2014
edited by
More modern rail guns produce a much more visible flame plume than in this video. The search results for a scientific explanation to the flame plume is saturated with the wild mass guessing of uneducated bystanders. So far, the only explanation found on the internet from a semi-reputable source comes from test director Tom Boucher, where he says that it is a combination of electricity arcing across the launcher, and shavings of aluminum reacting with the air.

Note that my earlier comment on hypersonic experimental craft otherwise being fireballs is not to discredit the sheer amount of heat they have to be built to withstand from friction. However, their heated surfaces, which are /going faster/ than this projectile, still do not create flame plumes.

EDIT: And no, I'm not talking about jet exhaust.

EDIT 2: The aluminum shavings are coming from the sabot, which holds the projectile in place during launch.
07:10:37 PM Jan 20th 2011
Removed because if its not an example then its not an example:

  • Interplanetary travel in Zone of the Enders: Dolores used these.
    • Actually, no. Interplanetary travel in the Zone of the Enders series uses a Urenbeck Catapult, which uses space compression achieved via metatron to propel a ship to a signifigant fraction of lightspeed, allowing interplanetary travel to take days or weeks instead of months and years. This is not the same thing as a magnetic mass accelerator, which uses conventional electromagnetic principals.
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