Energy Weapons

No Mad Scientist would be complete without at least one built or designed energy weapon. What is an energy weapon you may ask? It is a device that using nothing more than some form of energy, eg electricity Can generate some sort of negative effect on something(or someone).

Ray Gun

The Ray gun is the sci-fi name for an energy weapon. Basically it is some hand held gun shaped device that can emit some form of energy or radiation in a directed and targetable way. The simplest design for something like this would be a device with a reflector, and magnetic field to direct some beam or radiation out the end at the target. You could for example make a crude radiation gun.

How to make a crude radiation "ray" gun

You would need a lead core containing some fatally radioactive material, which the lead protects you from. A lead shutter mechanism attached to a trigger would be needed, possibly fed through some sort of dialectric, or polarised membrane to let out the tiniest narrow stream of radiation. The trigger would also require a safety release that activates the reflector and magnetic field to safely (for the madman holding the thing at least) direct the radiation in one direction, constricted in a narrow beam. The magnetic field generating component would need to force the radiation down a narrow field, and also be setup so that should there be no power left to activate the field, the trigger cannot open the lead shutter. Ideally to make the device even more complicated, the radioactive material could only become active if placed in contact with another materical to generate a burst of radiation.

The main down side to such a weapon is that the radiation unless high to the point that it would boil water on exposure - would not immediately eliminate your target. This could also be an upside for the mad scientist who equips one of his henchman as an assassin with such a device, as he could secretly snipe their target with such a device, and have them die of radiation sickness after the henchman has made a successful get away.

How to make less crude ray guns

For the more technical there are a number of other designs for a ray gun - see below.

Microwave Gun

Ok this is simply a case of hooking up a power supply to a microwave transducer which is shielded on the side of the operator, but connects to a microwave antenna tuned to the frequency of the transducer. This would look pretty messy and un-gun like, and would probably better suit offensive “defence” systems for your vehicles or lair.

Ion Cannon

Many a video game has featured one of these. Basically it is a particle beam, composed of anything from radiation to ion streams, to atoms, neutrons, combinations of several, Whatever. The result is essentially the same. You get what is effectively an atomic sand blaster, which will in “effect” simply “erase” anything you happen to be pointing it at. The elegance of one of these is your beam could be very small and concentrated; requiring a simple charge/discharge system coupled up with whatever your emitter/focusing assembly is. In effect a very light and universally armour piercing sniper rifle. Even scarier if someone gets one of these to rapid fire. Even scarier again the prospect that you could sacrifice rate of fire with miniaturization; making a small highly accurate hand held unit within the realm of possibility. This would be a game changer in respect to snipers. Fires at the speed of light, small and easily concealed, with potentially massive range; and virtual immunity to gravitational ballistic curve. Another name for this could be “disrupter” except a unit like this would simply tunnel (and disrupt) along the beam path. Giving you a small surgically accurate tube/hole It wouldn't make an entire person vanish, unless you were shooting it all over them for some time.

Laser Gun

While simple in theory, getting your hands on an argon or boron laser emitter of weapon grade power level is pretty tough. But you have seen stun guns, camera flashes and laser pointers, so powering the thing in a portable manner once you have it is the easy part. Rate of fire would likely suck tho. Lasers come in many styles and have many applications (see Wikipedia for a list List_of_laser_types) all of which make interesting weapons to the inventive mad scientist. Some for instance ionise and/or allow atmospheric energy discharge, lasers could be used to artificially trigger a lightning bolt… There is also the rumored “cold laser” this is a wavelength that freezes around it. Tho likely fictional - interesting none the less.

Physics or "Tesla Coil" Gun

No mad scientist should be without one of these.. making a workable design that doesn't also zap the operator on the other hand while maintaining portability is the real tricky part. Then again if your shock troopers run around in tin foil suits who knows it may start a henchman fashion trend - and since you are already making the outfits you can sell them for fun and profit to fund your own empire.

Rail gun

Although not strictly a “ray gun” it is a purely electro/magnetic weapon, as a ray gun? - nobody said these can only fire physical objects…

Plasma gun

Shoots a ball of plasma - you would need some sort of rail gun or particle accellerator type apparatus to fire it. Although you could also use compressed air, if the ball of air can be turned into a plasma somehow. Many “Air ball”, “Smoke ball” or concussion/shockwave gun designs exist, basically a pvc tube with a rubber bellow/slingshot type apparatus at one end. Fill the rubber bit with some smoke draw back the slightshot bit and poof a ball or ring of smoke shoots out the end.

How would you make your plasma balls?, well short of some portable fusion device you could try microwaves, or research an artificial way to make ball lighting - if you go with a “smoke ball” design you could use a flamable gas mixture with a spark generator on the business end of the pvc tube. But working out a slow but hot enough burn mix would be almost impossible.

EL gun

The electro laser gun. This basically combines the atmospheric electrical conductivity properties of a laser with the high voltage discharge of a Tesla coil. Basically you build up your tesla coil charge but keep it contained, then fire a laser at your target to Ionise or increase conductivity of the air to your target, then discharge the Tesla coil along the laser beam. This is about as close to the Star Trek Phaser real science can get.. almost..

ELP or MELP Cannon

The most awesome holy grail of mad scientists.. the Microwave-Electromagnetic-Laser-Plasma cannon. Cannon is not technically the correct word since cannons generally are considered artillery - but the way this thing works; expanding gases around the target would cause an explosion effect. Sounds cool, looks cool; and makes things blow up. Perfect. How do these super cool guns work you may ask -

  1. Firstly you fire your laser, much like the EL gun, this changes the electrical properties of the air to your target with these differences - you need at least 3 lasers, close enough together the fields overlap; but giving you a small air space in the middle of them. Aligning these buggers would be a pain, but hey you are the Evil Scientist, you will stop at nothing!
  2. Secondly you fire off your Tesla Coil Electrical discharge, paying careful attention that the discharge is only allowed to come in contact with the outer edge of our three laser beams. This will use the electical property that says electricity will only pass along the outside edge of your conductive material. What has this given us? A weak but useful electrical field around our beam..
  3. Finally although it is two stages - down the middle gap of our laser beams we direct the output of a fairly powerful microwave emitter/Transducer this is constrained by our electrical field's magnetic properties somewhat, the aim here is the microwave being trapped; super heats the air in the centre of the lasers to plasma… Starting to get the idea?
  4. Lastly in what ideally is a few micro-seconds our target gets hit by our lasers, this may or may not be very comfortable(depending what wavelength, distance and power level), but then they are hit by what is effectively a lighting bolt along the beam, this wont be very nice either, especially if you are an electrical device; this is then followed by our microwave beam all of which superheats the point of impact, causing what would in most situations be a steam explosion, if our beam can keep going the results are going to be somewhat impressive to say the least.

Death Ray!

Purely theoretical - you could attempt to combine an Ion cannon with a MELP cannon, and a radiation gun. Something like this could cause quite a lot of carnage - especially if you could configure the laser beam to loose focus at the end of the shot, causing the various nefarious emissions to scatter over a wider area at the conclusion of the shot.

Final Thoughts

Although the MELP cannon would make a pretty impressive weapon - it would also make an excellent tunnel building device… now that super sized multilevel Underground lair you always dreamed of is within your grasp..

Authors Note 5/11/10

I have been doing a bit more research into the field of plasma - although this particular WIKI section was meant to be an interesting but essentially fictional list of possible energy weapons, disturbingly the technology behind the ELP cannon is out there, and prototypes may actually exist. There appears to be two main applications, a laser will form a plasma between its beam and any object it comes in contact with; and the application of electromagnetic and supercharged electrical fields in this context. These have their origins in plasma and atomic research, but it is easy how a weapon could be made as an extension of that branch of research. In my article above the laser was being used as the carrier, and the Microwave to form the plasma, but technology appears to suggest the laser itself can be used for the plasma, the microwave wouldn't be needed. A laser passing through a plasma also imparts some interesting effects on the plasma itself - possibly removing the need for the Tesla discharge too. Not quite as mad-scientist cool, just as deadly.

Demolition Tech

Energy weapons are not limited to your Flash Gordon ray gun. Various other things can be quite destructive.


Not much of a weapon, but you feed energy in and it smashes things.

Harmonic Reasonator

At its simplest think of it as a mini jack hammer. A weight goes back and forth at whatever speed you set.

At it most impressive think of it as waves of electricity feeding into a sort of feedback loop faster than it can dissappate.

At its most complex think of it as one or more sounds running at a fixed or at fixed alternating frequencies of sound.

How does it work

This is a bit fuzzy - It was best understood by Nicola Tesla. The concept basically works much like AC power, and Tesla coils too. Hall effect. It works a little like the effect where you have a row or swinging metal balls, yet the middle balls dont move - but the end ones do, or like hitting one end of a metal pipe immediately moves the entire pole. So in theory with a long and strong enough metal pole an a big enough hammer you could tap with morse code to the moon immediatelly. Also somewhat how the space fold idea as a way to cheat the speed of light works. Everything is related. In scientific terms you are aiming for wave theory/Hall effect or thereabouts.

What it comes down to is one of two things. Firstly finding the frequency that is the maximum.. flexibility/rate of compression; durability for lack of a better word of the matrix of material that makes up your target, or secondly finding the maximum absorbtion/disapation rate of energy by that material. The two interact, but are not exactly aligned, most of the time the two properties work together to keep a fixed state overall.

If you can hit one of the three sweet spots the material will break down. The first sweet spot it to attack the durability, bend or compress the matrix past its breaking point. The Second feed more energy into the object than it can dissapate, past its melting point. Either way Brute force. The third - hit the materal at the exact point of variation between the snap and melt point, this is its resonant or harmonic frequency. Basically you want to do the vibration equivalent of bending a wire back and forth until it snaps. I beleive Hall Effect is the technical name, and it is not limited to electricity is likely the key point. Kinetic (mechanical energy) for instance.

Suprisingly there is a large range of variation of all these properties in different materials. Sometimes you can work at the crystaline level (eg glass), or the atomic level (eg water). It all depends on the durabiity and start state.

Think of it like a bucket of water - the rate you can fill it, is different to the rate that it will overflow back out again. However there is only a small window over which the water will just come out faster, or the amount you put in is less than the maximum that can come out. You also have a limited amount of energy to work with, In the case of a bucket of water, you are working with the durability of the plastic, and the durability of the water. So in theory you have two frequencies to find. One would be the point where the plasic breaks, the other is where the water breaks. There is also a third which is more in keeping with resonance waves - waves themself.

Basically feed water into the bucket in pulses, at a speed faster than the water can dissapate. This will cause waves that store the energy from the pulses, the waves will try to dissapate the energy (so you get.. waves in the water) but it cant dissappate all of it, and steadly accumulates energy, however if this is not the right frequency.. all you will get is once the water gets to the point it can not hold any more energy - you get a sudden release (much like sparks in hall effect) which in this case would be a big splash. However we are working with 2 materials, you also have the plastic bucket as a limiting factor, as the waves will only get so high before they splash over the side, or will hold only so much water before it overflows. In theory at the right wave frequency you will get the water to bend the bucket back and forth faster than the bucket can flex, this would be the sheer point, so your bucket would break. Resonant.

On the other hand you could put water in the bucket at a rate faster than the water can compress then overflow, this would also break the bucket as the water would be forced to transfer all the extra energy to the bucket. Brute Force.

But what if you pulse the water in at a rate faster than it can compress, but slower than the rate that would cause the bucket to sheer (less than the max amount of energy it will dissapate)? At the wrong rate you will get either a big splash, or it over flows. Brute Force. Or the water will vaporise - however that is effected by the air pressure. Another factor to allow for. Still brute force. At the differrent frequencies, you will get one of several outcomes, based on the resonant sweet spot you hit, remember we are dealing with Air, Plastic and Water now. The water may seperate into oxygen and hydrogen - you get bubbles. The water may start to boil or simply flash all to steam. Freakiest of all - you might cause it to freeze if it hardens like copper does. The plastic may start to shatter all at once. The plastic will heat and start to melt The air will heat up etc

Ok Confused? in a nutshell resonance is hitting a sweetspot between the flexibility and energy dissapation points, and accumulating enough energy to illicit a brute force reaction from the material once it accumulates beyond the limit of the object. How it reacts depends on what sweet spot of what part of the object you hit. Resonance accumulates energy in an objecct over time, so using smaller amounts of energy, you can “save up” in the material as much energy as using a lot of brute force all at once.

It is actually more complicated than that, you could attack individual elements that make up the whole, and the form of energy you use does not seem to matter. Kinetic, Electric, Harmonic etc. In glass it would be harmonic, you get the glass vibrating beyond its break strain vs flexibility (overwealm its durability) In a spark plug you are attacking the air with electricity beyond what it can insulate from vs the amount of energy the metal in the plug can hold. In iron you can attack it kinetically have it bend back and forth faster than it is capable to snap it, or feed it with more electricity than it can conduct, but less than what is needed to overcome the resistance of air, and you can melt it. Etc. Resonance also allows energy to build up in gradual steps, making it easy to find the sweet spot.

Just to further complicate things, you have the properties of the energy to deal with. Electricity for instance. More voltage or more current. Number of lanes down a road vs number of cars trying to travel down each lane, to the speed of the cars - these decide if you get something melting or sparking.

Really confused now — Overlord PhoenixX

Article Notoriety
Author Overlord PhoenixX
Difficulty Sounds Plausable 6/10
Class “Bit hard to apply”
Other Notes Most technology is available..
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energy_weapons.txt · Last modified: 2013/01/02 08:56 by
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