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Weaponizing ball lightning


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#31    aquatus1

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:39 PM

I'm a little surprised that people think humans are growing more and more deadly.  It's quite the opposite.

Ancient wars meant death and destruction for entire civilizations.  Hundreds of thousands dead and mutilated.  Rape, ravage, and torture were not only the norm, they were encouraged.

Today, we have much more powerful weapons, but at the same time, we have much more precise weapons.  Were taking out a target once meant razing an entire city to the ground, today a single missile can take out the building, often with little to no collateral damage.

And weapons will continue to get more and more deadly, and they will continue to get more and more precise.  It won't be too long before we have an Ironman-esque targeting system that can distinguish between civilians and combatants.

A ball lightning gun that can knock out equipment with only thermal damage left over?  That would be fantastic!  Right now, we have missiles that will do a heck of lot more than burn you while taking out the target.

Einstein was wrong.  He lived and breathed in an era where nuclear weapons were an actual threat.  But humanity isn't that barbaric anymore.  We stepped away from nuclear war.  Today, MAD is a relic of the Cold War, where it was once our only hope.


#32    Twin Peaks

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 11:50 PM

Ball lightning is theoretical let alone it's potential uses as a weapon. Using it in any context for points in a discussion as if it existed is not valid.

I agree with aquatus 1. If it weren't for the millitary investing in weapons technology the world actually be worse off because using the more primitive weapons would cause even more damage.

The atomic bomb... . I suspect it will be put into numerous uses one day for space exploration and for terraforming and exploration on other worlds.

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#33    aquatus1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:17 AM

Ghost Ship on Mar 18 2009, 11:50 PM, said:

Ball lightning is theoretical let alone it's potential uses as a weapon. Using it in any context for points in a discussion as if it existed is not valid.


Actually, ball lightning is quite factual now, and what it actually is is quite likely soon to be discovered.  Ball lightning can now be replicated reliably in a laboratory, where they do it using the same silicon generators they use to create regular lightning.


#34    Twin Peaks

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:24 AM

Huh, is that so. I need a subscription to one of them science and technology magazines to keep up to date.

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#35    aquatus1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 12:26 AM

Ghost Ship on Mar 19 2009, 12:24 AM, said:

Huh, is that so. I need a subscription to one of them science and technology magazines to keep up to date.


It's pretty neat.  They do a zap, and dozens of these little golf balls suddenly drop and scatter over the floor.  Some are light and fluffy, some are almost solid, and most act like googly balls.  They only last a second or two, though.


#36    Twin Peaks

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 08:17 AM

I found a video about the ball lightning made in a lab. Amazing.

Ball Lightning

Is there such thing as welding balls or is this for sure lightning...

Edited by Ghost Ship, 19 March 2009 - 08:18 AM.

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#37    aquatus1

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 10:49 AM

Yeah, there's welding balls, but they don't act like this.  Welding balls act more like little burning rocks.


#38    clubfoot O.M.G.

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 01:41 PM

Mr.Delicious on Mar 18 2009, 10:38 PM, said:

Whats all the complaining about? Our nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons are far more destructive than ball lightining could ever be. Heavens forbid our goverment has a potentially cheap, effective, and demoralizing weapon that does not put our serviceman in harms way. You would need a massive amount of energy for it to be more deadly than a standard cruise missle, why is everyone commenting how this is a sign of the apocolypse? The weapon would be effective at terrain deniance, messing with electronic systems, and demoralization tactics, but even the strongest known lighting bolts barely put a dent into metallic objects, ball lighting as a weapon is nothing to start quoting einstein about people.

Just had another thought. There is no power in lightning bolts, but, what about the other, alternative, potential consequences of lightning's interaction with the rest of Nature?  Check out the Chaiten Volcano eruption in Chile on May 3, 2008. It can be found on upi.com.






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