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snowRaven
Anyone of the enlightened people here want to take a shot at this:

Imagine a combination of a regular rifle and a gauss rifle - a bullet is fired using normal explosion (causing recoil etc) and then accelerated using a coil along the barrel.

And could recoil reduction be accomplished using the same coil/rail technology? (Replacing the spring in an automatic weapon with a rod and reverse coil that slows the firing rod down and then propels it back toward the next round? (And does anyone even understand what I mean?) grinbig.gif
Kagetenshi
It'd either be very energy-expensive or minimally useful.

~J
mfb
errr... shut up, austere! you're stupid! shut up! (hah! i win.)

what would the utility be, snowRaven? i can't see any advantage to that, off-hand.

Nylan
Man, I leave for a couple hours, and this thread blows up...

Also, continuing the Star Wars blaster thing: My "Star Wars: The Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology" (Shut up, its old and I'm a nerd, I know) states that the blaster fires high energy particles in a 'bolt' (from the excited gas) and that the light is a 'harmless by-product" of the process. I could draw you a diagram if you wanted me to wink.gif But seriously, Thats just what this book said, and is a reason the bolts travel slower than the speed of light.

Someone must have thought at one point: "Well, people will be more interested in these things if we call them 'recoilless rifles' instead of 'reduced-recoil rifles'" wink.gif
Method

Just to play the devils advocate (as if this debate needs another side) many physisists now believe that you can't apply classical physics (newtonian laws and whatnot) on a quantum scale (photons), because there is evidence that all kinds of screwy chaotic stuff takes place.

For example, theres Quantum Tunneling (maybe not the best link) wherein a particle can pass through an energy field (or even solid masses) if the conditions are just so that it is more energetically favorable for the particle to be on the other side.

And as far as gauss weapons go (bear with me... its been awhile since i took physics), is it possible that the magnetic coil could exsert force on the projectile in such a way that the recoil force (opposite and equal) occures at a tangential angle to the spiral? Over a very short time interval (miliseconds) this would effectively create recoil in all directions simultaneously (for all intents and purposes) which would cancel each other out for a net recoil force of zero.

Just a thought....
JaronK
According to Newton's laws, the sum total of the forces in the system must be 0. Thus, the force out of the magnetic coils (the projectile's force) must be equal to the force going back (recoil). There's no way to just turn that force outwards.

JaronK
Kagetenshi
Unfortunately, you don't hit quantum mechanics with that sort of thing. The Newtonian model of physics is still very accurate at that scale.

~J
Cray74
QUOTE (Otomik)
The military is talking about 25 and 100 kilowatt lasers. I'm pretty sure there's got to be a mathematical operation for converting that to joules or foot pounds.


It takes 3,624,433 kilowatts (3.6 gigawatts) of light to generate 5 pounds of thrust on a solar sail. I'm not going to lose sleep over the lack of recoil compensation in anything smaller than an 18 gigawatt laser.

QUOTE (Method)
And as far as gauss weapons go (bear with me... its been awhile since i took physics), is it possible that the magnetic coil could exsert force on the projectile in such a way that the recoil force (opposite and equal) occures at a tangential angle to the spiral?


No. If you shove mass forward, some mass will go backward.
Kagetenshi
Not if you stick two of them together grinbig.gif

~J
Jason Farlander
Mmmm... 18 gigawatt laser... tasty...
Kanada Ten
As Cray74 says, recoil from the beam will be minute. However, recoil from the generation process may not be. The three "plausible" methods of beam generation includes one that may cause recoil. This method involves jetting unimaginably highly compressed gasses though the resonator chamber which, according to the white paper I read, gives 90lbs of recoil per shot. Recent technology has shown we can generate a beam using "motionless" sealed gasses and RF instead of the typical turbine driven resonators. However, the sealed lasers have not yet gone beyond 600 watts. Turbine driven have reach over 1 mWatt and compressed gass lasers have supposedly gone beyond that. If you think SR lasers used compressed gass they may well have a recoil, and it requires a turbine to recompress the gasses. Both turbine and compressed also make noise.

I've always assumed SR lasers used an awakened rodent: pulling the trigger flips up the reflectors over its eyes and a laser beam shoots out.
Empyrean Seraph
QUOTE (RangerJoe)
Now, it might be cool to have quad lasers

"There is no escaping. The bullet is enormous. Jumping is useless."
hobgoblin
QUOTE (Cray74 @ Aug 25 2004, 01:28 AM)
No. If you shove mass forward, some mass will go backward.

well there are 3 options, either the gun moves and the bullet stands still or the bullet moves and the gun stays still or they both moves according to mass. ie gun moves a small bit as more energy is needed to move the mass while the bullet goes flying as the same amount of energy work on less mass.

while i belive that a gauss gun would have recoil it would not act in the same way as the recoil of a normal gun. rember that the force of an explotion pushes in all directions at the same time while a gauss gun works on the prinsiple of pulling and pushing at set times +-+-+-+-+-+ and so on. therefor the energy all works in one direction, the way the bullet is supposed to travel instead of the direction of least resistance (that happens to be the direction of the barrel in the case of a gun).

there is allso the fact that in a normal handgun there is physical mass pushing while in a gauss setup its a electromagnetic effect so there isnt realy any physical object between the back of the gun and the bullet. except air that is smile.gif (vacume would lead to insane amounts of air pressure acting on the bullet so there have to be ports so that air can be sucked in as the bullet travels)...

there is allso the effect of the reload system on most propellant based guns to take into account as they work by useing some of the force to move parts of the gun. as those parts hit the end of thier movement the force will transfer to the gun proper and allso the fact that some of the mass of the gun have now moved into a diffrent posision, ever so slightly changeing the center of gravity of the gun (unless your fireing a revolver that is). this isnt that big a thing in a rifle but in a handgun that can play its part in the effects of recoil.

so while recoil can be distilled down to newtons law i belive its not the whole picture.
mfb
the main part of recoil still comes from newton's law. will there be a difference between the way a given gauss pistol and a given chem-propellant pistol handle recoil for a bullet of the same mass? yes, of course--but the difference isn't going to be much more than the difference between two different model chem-propellant pistols of the same caliber and load.
Cray74
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
As Cray74 says, recoil from the beam will be minute.  However, recoil from the generation process may not be.  The three "plausible" methods of beam generation includes one that may cause recoil.  This method involves jetting unimaginably highly compressed gasses though the resonator chamber which, according to the white paper I read, gives 90lbs of recoil per shot.

The gases aren't compressed - they're just burned in a reactor not unlike a rocket engine. Selective redirection of the exhaust gases should cancel the issue.

And SR lasers do not seem to produce clouds of toxic chlorine oxide (or whatever), so if they use a chemical approach, they don't vent at all and thus produce no (effective) recoil.

As for "sealed lasers," multi-kilowatt welding lasers are off-the-shelf items, and the Navy has been playing around with 10kW free electron (Sealed) lasers.

QUOTE
well there are 3 options, either the gun moves and the bullet stands still or the bullet moves and the gun stays still or they both moves according to mass. ie gun moves a small bit as more energy is needed to move the mass while the bullet goes flying as the same amount of energy work on less mass.


No, there are not 3 options. If the gun moves as a result of reacting against the bullet, the bullet will move, too. And vice versa. Basically, there's only the third option: both recoil.

QUOTE
while i belive that a gauss gun would have recoil it would not act in the same way as the recoil of a normal gun. rember that the force of an explotion pushes in all directions


The multi-directional push of a gunpowder explosion is moot: most directions are canceled by equal and opposite pressure on the opposite side of the barrel.

What ends up happening is that, like the gauss rifle, all that matters is that a mass (bullet+propellant gases) leave one end of the barrel, while the gun recoils in the opposite direction. The equations (see: conservation of momentum) are exactly the same in both situations, the difference being the velocity and mass spat out the barrel.

That some gauss rifles might use an on/off means of propelling the projectile is also irrelevant to the total felt recoil. The triggering of the electromagnetics occurs so rapidly that even a wired human won't notice it - it'll be one shove, just like with a single-charge gunpowder weapon.

QUOTE
there is allso the fact that in a normal handgun there is physical mass pushing while in a gauss setup its a electromagnetic effect so there isnt realy any physical object between the back of the gun and the bullet


Irrelevant. The magnets push forward on the bullet while pushing back on the barrel. The net forces are basically the same: one mass goes forward, the other goes back. Trying to focus on little details like where the exchange of momentum occurs will just get you bogged down - as you are - in misleading details.

QUOTE
so while recoil can be distilled down to newtons law i belive its not the whole picture.


No, it's still M1V1 = M2V2. One mass goes one way, the other mass goes the other way.

Details like how many masses are involved (separate recoil mechanisms, gun weights, projectile weights, etc.) and velocities are just details to be plugged into the same mechanism. Newton's laws do cover everything - you just need to plug them in correctly.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
The gases aren't compressed - they're just burned in a reactor not unlike a rocket engine. Selective redirection of the exhaust gases should cancel the issue.

SR lasers do not use up the gas, thus they cannot be that type of laser. They must be sealed or recycled. The gasses are not "burned," they work like a florescent light bulb and are excited by either RF or Electricity. The gas does not escape the laser and thus causes some kind of rocking motion as the gas shoots though the resonator chamber.

QUOTE
As for "sealed lasers," multi-kilowatt welding lasers are off-the-shelf items, and the Navy has been playing around with 10kW free electron (Sealed) lasers.

The first is not effective against organic matter, as SR lasers clearly are. I haven't heard of the second.
hobgoblin
hmm, i recall reading something about a particle "laser" ones. instead of light ut was useing atoms or molecules or something to create a beam.

there could be that the sr lasers are useing a diffrent part of the em spectrum, maybe microwaves to cook the target. what would the range of a microwave gun be?

and i see now that i screwed up the stuff above, i dont know where i had my head when i typed it...
littlesean
Those would be particle accelerators. Accelerating electrons as a beam weapon. Not sure about the physics about that.
As far as Microwave, they use photons, and the term generally used for a microwave laser has been Maser in most sci-fi settings. It would have different properties as far as handling air density, humidity, and so on, but it is still a laser.
Camouflage
QUOTE (hobgoblin)
there is allso the fact that in a normal handgun there is physical mass pushing while in a gauss setup its a electromagnetic effect so there isnt realy any physical object between the back of the gun and the bullet.

The gun uses magnets or coils with electrical current running through them which basically function just as magnets at that moment. and magnetic force always works both ways - on the object you try to pull/push and on the magnet itself. So absolutely no difference to force-projection through solid levers or compressed gases or whatever - "actio = reactio" still stays in effect, has something to do with being a basic law of nature.

@littlesean:

microwave lasers are called Maser not only in SF settings but in RL as well.
Arethusa
As laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, for the unfamiliar) is an acronym, you can swap out the L and replace it with any section of the electromagnetic spectrum. Actually doing it, of course, is another matter entirely.
Kagetenshi
MASERs being the fundamental technology of the atomic clock, yeah, I'd say they've actually been done.

~J
Cain
IIRC, the guy who invented lasers was trying for a Maser in the first place, but gave up and went with light because it was easier.
SunRunner
cyber.gif

Take the energy output in J/s (joules per second) and divide by c^2 (speed of light, squared). The result of this calculation would be the equivilant mass of the energy being projected from the laser (photons have no rest-mass, so this is releative or effective mass only).

Does this help?

EDIT/

Example: Say you have a laser that outputs 10 kW of energy via LASER (aka, photons).
1 kW = 1,000 J
10,000 J / c^2 = 6.747E-14 kilograms /or/ 6.747E-2 picograms /or/ about 67 femtograms

(Metric conversion may be wrong, I am more used to Imperial)
(c (speed of light) = 385,000,000 km/s)

...

Going with the weight given above (67 femto-grams), I can virtually garantee the recoil is un-noticable on a human scale. You would need something a lot more powerful to even start to have a pressure you could feel.
Austere Emancipator
Could someone please clear up this issue: If you've got a 10kW laser, does that actually mean it generates 10kJ of kinetic energy per second through launching photons?

Anyway, either you typoed the speed of light, or your figures are screwed. c = 299,792,458 m/s
SunRunner
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
Could someone please clear up this issue: If you've got a 10kW laser, does that actually mean it generates 10kJ of kinetic energy per second through launching photons?

If it is a laser with a 10 kW input per second it has an output of 10 kJ per second; assuming perfect efficiency. I do not know of a laser that is 100% efficient, so I approximate.

QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
Anyway, either you typoed the speed of light, or your figures are screwed. c = 299,792,458 m/s

My apologies. Let me re-run the numbers for you.

10 kJ output per second, divided by c^2 = 1.113E-13 kg of mass
1.113E-13 kilogram mass = 1.113E-1 picograms, or 11.13 femtograms of mass.

I still garantee you will not feel the recoil from that.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (SunRunner)
If it is a laser with a 10 kW input per second it has an output of 10 kJ per second; assuming perfect efficiency.

What I'm really interested in, though, is whether all that 10kJ per second is kinetic energy.
SunRunner
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator @ Aug 25 2004, 02:20 AM)
What I'm really interested in, though, is whether all that 10kJ per second is kinetic energy.

Slightly more complicated question. The answer is: Sorta. Photons have energy and momentum, but no mass.

See this link for a more in-depth answer.
link

And this link for a definition of kinetic energy:
link
Cray74
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
SR lasers do not use up the gas, thus they cannot be that type of laser.

I was trying to guess what you meant by "compressed gases," since I wasn't familiar with the term in connection with lasers, and was thus led to think of COILs, which do burn gases. Do you mean a gas laser, like a carbon dioxide laser? Those gases are not highly compressed.

QUOTE
QUOTE
As for "sealed lasers," multi-kilowatt welding lasers are off-the-shelf items, and the Navy has been playing around with 10kW free electron (Sealed) lasers.


The first is not effective against organic matter, as SR lasers clearly are.


Welding lasers may not deliver energy fast enough to be effective battlefield lasers, but saying that they are not effective against organic material incorrectly implies injuries would not occur. A 3kW welding laser delivers three times the energy output of a microwave oven focused on a small spot.

http://ehs.uky.edu/radiation/laser_fs.html

"Do not place your hand or any other body part into the class IV laser beam. The pain and smell of burned flesh will let you know if this happens. "

littlesean
QUOTE (Cray74)
"Do not place your hand or any other body part into the class IV laser beam. The pain and smell of burned flesh will let you know if this happens. "

I need that for my new sig, it is just too succinct! I love it!
otomik
which brings up terminal effects

nice neat cauterized holes or gibbed and covered in boils from explosive steam expansion?
RangerJoe
The energy of an EM waveform (in this case, our laser) follows the rule:

E = hf

where E = energy
h = Planck's constant
f = frequency of the radiation (or 'nu' but it's all Greek to me)

A 100 kW laser should, if up to spec, output 100x10^3 Joules of energy per second. Most of this energy is "electromagnetic radiation"-- wiggles and waggles in the E and B fields. It is not KE (although it can be turned into KE when the energy exites atoms, heats them up, etc. etc.). This is why slug throwers make better kinetic weapons than lasers.
Cray74
QUOTE (otomik)
which brings up terminal effects

nice neat cauterized holes or gibbed and covered in boils from explosive steam expansion?

I fall into the "gobbets from the steam explosion" camp.

One of the things I retained from my undergrad thermodynamics course (besides post traumatic stress syndrome) is how materials respond to varying levels of heating. When a liquid is exposed to a surface more than 100C above its boiling point, contact with the surface is not actually made - a sheath of vapor is formed.

This is why you can dip your hand in liquid nitrogen and not get flash-frozen: the LN2 simply flashes to vapor. (Of course, if you're stupid enough to dip your hand in liquid nitrogen, do so quickly. Boiling requires a lot of heat input, which means your hand will be cool rapidly.)

Likewise, battlefield lasers will pump so much heat into a small spot on a target that there's no time for the heat to disperse through the target. Ground zero for the laser (armor, clothing, upper layers of skin) will basically explode (convert to a gaseous state rapidly) because heat keeps piling in, but not leaving. Nearby flesh will suffer from that pinpoint explosion.
SunRunner
Which is why I find it funny that a lot of games define laser damage as piercing or armor-penetrating ... so funny.

Laser hits target
section of target hit by laser vaporizes (surface levels mostly)
vapor rapidly expands (ALSO: vapor interferes with the laser)
expanding vapor meets surrounding structure
surrounding structure reacts to vapor as if vapor was an explosion
surrounding structure 'cracks' or 'melts' subject to the material

They would be good at destroying armor, but absolutely horrible for penetration of that armor. Unless I am missing something really obvious about how lasers work.
Arethusa
Look, if you guys really want to find out, let me point you in the right direction:

http://www.bulletproofme.com

http://www.agriseek.com/sale/e/Livestock/Cattle/

Get back to us in a week with results.
Cray74
QUOTE (SunRunner)
They would be good at destroying armor, but absolutely horrible for penetration of that armor. Unless I am missing something really obvious about how lasers work.

Put 10 kilojoules into a millimeter spot. That's about twice the energy of 7.62mm NATO ball ammunition in a much smaller area. How would such a pinpoint explosion manifest? It would seem like you could get a very penetrating effect, if the focus was tight enough and energy delivery period fast enough.
Lindt
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Look, if you guys really want to find out, let me point you in the right direction:

http://www.bulletproofme.com

http://www.agriseek.com/sale/e/Livestock/Cattle/

Get back to us in a week with results.

Thank you for making my first morning back at work after Gencon so entertaining.
Suenert
To get to recoil devide the power by the speed of light which gives you the change in momentum in time (due to P=d/dt*N*E_phot, E_phot=c*p). For a 100kw laser this is around 10/3*10^(4-8 )=3.33*10^-4 kg*m/s^2, which is fairly neglible.

What about pulsed lasers ?
Shoot an object, wait a milisecond (or so) till the gas from the explosion has dispersed, shoot again, rinse, repeat, all with one pull of the trigger.
Anybody got an idea if that is workable ?

mhm
Usenet discussion
Reading through it the standard weapon is shadowrun ought to be a laser rifle, thanks to very high temp super conductors.
Cray74
QUOTE (Suenert)
What about pulsed lasers ?
Shoot an object, wait a milisecond (or so) till the gas from the explosion has dispersed, shoot again, rinse, repeat, all with one pull of the trigger.
Anybody got an idea if that is workable ?

That's the description of many real world lasers. Many lasers typically use a flash lamp (or LEDs, now) to generate laser photons from a gas or ruby rod. The lamps do not operate continuously, and the lasing gas/rod would just get hot (rather than emit laser photons) if it was illuminated continuously, so the lamps are strobed, resulting in laser pulses.
Arethusa
Almost all current medical uses of lasers are pulsed specifically to allow vaporized tissue to disperse. They're substantially more effective and efficient for destructive purposes when strobed.
Cray74
QUOTE (Arethusa)
Almost all current medical uses of lasers are pulsed specifically to allow vaporized tissue to disperse. They're substantially more effective and efficient for destructive purposes when strobed.

Of course, medical lasers are also trying to minimize and contain damage to a predictable area, aren't they?
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
Do you mean a gas laser, like a carbon dioxide laser? Those gases are not highly compressed.

Actually, they can be. Instead of using a turbine or vacuum, the military decided using highly compressed gas would work better (just like going to a turbine from a vacuum increased power), and it did give higher output power.

QUOTE
Welding lasers may not deliver energy fast enough to be effective battlefield lasers, but saying that they are not effective against organic material incorrectly implies injuries would not occur.

A stove can cause major injury, that still doesn't make it an effective weapon. Far be it from me to imply otherwise. I can verify that a 3KW Class IV laser (Mitsubishi 1212HC) does indeed cause damage to the skin in a very painful way, resulting in a fire even when striking a chicken bone... which brings me to the next point. I don't think lasers transfer energy very well into flesh. I've heard you and others say it will flash boil and whatever else, but never seen proof. I think perhaps it will explode a small area and cauterize the outside because you will never have a clean focus in the real world; the edges of the beam will be ragged.
hobgoblin
so i guess that the reason for lasers and so on fail as a gunlike weapon is that they cant realy deliver high amounts of energy over a distance in the short amount of time needed for it to be compareable to your avarage slug trower.
Cray74
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
Actually, they can be.  Instead of using a turbine or vacuum, the military decided using highly compressed gas would work better (just like going to a turbine from a vacuum increased power), and it did give higher output power.


Okay, you and I obviously have different definitions of "highly compressed." If it ain't 1000psi or higher, it ain't highly compressed to me.

Can you name this "highly compressed" gas laser? Or the gas used?

QUOTE
I don't think lasers transfer energy very well into flesh.  I've heard you and others say it will flash boil and whatever else, but never seen proof.  I think perhaps it will explode a small area and cauterize the outside because you will never have a clean focus in the real world; the edges of the beam will be ragged.


So you've only seen 3000 joules per second going into flesh, which is much slower than a bullet delivers its kinetic energy. Okay.

Have you seen 10000 joules - or more - going into flesh in a millisecond? A 10 megawatt laser?
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
Can you name this "highly compressed" gas laser? Or the gas used?
QUOTE
Have you seen 10000 joules - or more - going into flesh in a millisecond? A 10 megawatt laser?

No, have you? Has anyone? I've seen a 1mW shatter a clay bowl on TV, but my 3kW did that to a stone as well...
Cray74
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
QUOTE
Can you name this "highly compressed" gas laser? Or the gas used?

What's the operating pressure of those lasers?

QUOTE
No, have you?  Has anyone?


The Ares MP3 delivers armor defeating shots. Do you know of any way to achieve that except a tight focus, several kilojoules, and millisecond delivery of the pulse?
Kanada Ten
QUOTE
What's the operating pressure of those lasers?

Varies. Whatever level required to create a supersonic flow into the resonator, which changes based on the nozzle size, number of nozzles and so on. The white paper on that nuclear powered laser we read way back when used this method and generated 90lbs of recoil.

QUOTE
The Ares MP3 delivers armor defeating shots. Do you know of any way to achieve that except a tight focus, several kilojoules, and millisecond delivery of the pulse?

No, but blasting through plastic and steel usually results in lots of hot molten material, fire, even surface explosions with steel due to igniting the liquid metal. I'm not saying that 20+kW lasers won't damage a person, in fact you've moved me towards very painful flesh wounds since last the discussion. I just don't see very much bleeding or very deep holes in people. Then again, if you severed an artery, the blood pressure would easily overcome the light cauterization, as might running around or stressing the injury...
Cray74
QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
Varies.  Whatever level required to create a supersonic flow into the resonator, which changes based on the nozzle size, number of nozzles and so on.  The white paper on that nuclear powered laser we read way back when used this method and generated 90lbs of recoil.


Was that from the light emitted or venting gases?

QUOTE
No, but blasting through plastic and steel usually results in lots of hot molten material, fire, even surface explosions with steel due to igniting the liquid metal.


Sounds like slow energy delivery, with enough time to melt and flow rather than flash evaporate.

QUOTE
I'm not saying that 20+kW lasers won't damage a person, in fact you've moved me towards very painful flesh wounds since last the discussion.  I just don't see very much bleeding or very deep holes in people.  Then again, if you severed an artery, the blood pressure would easily overcome the light cauterization, as might running around or stressing the injury...


How much energy per unit time do you need to generate armor penetrating effects? Or, to rephrase that, how much energy per unit time do you need to pump into plastic and ceramic armor to generate such a surface explosion that the flesh below is rended? Is a megawatt enough?
BGMFH
10^0 Joule | Watt second
10^1 calorie
10^3 Btu | your kinetic energy running (mv2) | person decending 1m
10^4 kilocalorie | dietary "calorie" | Wh
10^5 10-12 kg | 40W bulb for 1 hr | your kinetic energy at 60 mph
10^7 kWh
10^10 1 ton TNT | lightning bolt
10^11 10-6 kg
10^13 megaton TNT
10^15 100 megaton TNT (largest nukes)

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/rocket3l.html
Good, physics based description of laser sidearms.

Also, cauterization will be a non issue.
Arethusa
QUOTE (hobgoblin)
so i guess that the reason for lasers and so on fail as a gunlike weapon is that they cant realy deliver high amounts of energy over a distance in the short amount of time needed for it to be compareable to your avarage slug trower.

Absolutely. Lasers and railguns, despite sci fi nerds' well known proclivities, will absolutely not be viable small arms any time remotely soon. Expect traditional cased weaponry to develop over the next hundred years, but do not expect it to go away.

That is not to say, of course, that there aren't places where these technologies are viable. Consider, for example, shipboard weaponry and missile defense.
Kanada Ten
QUOTE (BGMFH)
Also, cauterization will be a non issue.

Proof? I've heard it said but never seen anything like proof. I've never seen any transfer of light energy to flesh in a speed fast enough to cause it.

QUOTE
Or, to rephrase that, how much energy per unit time do you need to pump into plastic and ceramic armor to generate such a surface explosion that the flesh below is rended?

Plastic will need the exact same levels as flesh, the two share much in common for purposes of lasers. Ceramic... I don't know. Lasers put the energy at the surface, which with metals is ok due to the explosion and fire, but with ceramic that doesn't happen. We use ceramic blocks to absorb the beam when we have to cut something thin that requires a heavy beam power. When we've finished the job we go over and wipe the black scars off the surface, which are totally undamaged. However, we also run water through the blocks (which would not stop the beam from blasting metals that absorbed it).

QUOTE
Was that from the light emitted or venting gases?

From the gas hitting the resonator at supersonic speeds as I understood it. The article talked about jetting a secondary gas to counter the motion, IIRC.

Actually, the link form BGMFH makes a lot of the points. The multi-frequency beams seem like a pipe dream to me, you're already wasting 80% of the input energy, any frequency shifting will just increase that.
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