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Weaponizing ball lightning

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lightning.jpg
Ball lightning is a phenomenon that still isn't fully understood, however some scientists have already started looking in to ways of turning it in to a weapon.

"Two hundred years ago this week, the warship HMS Warren Hastings was struck by a weird phenomenon: "Three distinct balls of fire" fell from the heavens, striking the ship and killing two crewmen, leaving behind "a nauseous, sulfurous smell," according to the Times of London. Ball lightning has been the subject of much scientific scrutiny over the years. And, as with many powerful natural phenomena, the question arises: "Can we turn it into a weapon?" "

arrow3.gifView: Full Article | arrow3.gifSource: Wired

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Controlling lightning would be much better served as an energy resource.

If ball lightning was used as a weapon a next world war would last a few weeks.

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Controlling lightning would be much better served as an energy resource.

If ball lightning was used as a weapon a next world war would last a few weeks.

I remember I read somewhere that lightning doesn't have that much valuable energy for us.

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I remember I read somewhere that lightning doesn't have that much valuable energy for us.

Even if so, using it as weapon isn't going to do any good. It does more harm than anything else?

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I think there will be a huge debate about this. Such as lightning being natural and that we don't have the right to control it.......or something. I really don't care. But people will debate over stupid things.

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From the full article:

However, in 2002, Koloc's company, Prometheus II, briefly obtained funding from the Missile Defence Agency. The aim was to create stable 'magnetoplasmoids' a foot in diameter which would last between one and five seconds. In the subsequent phase, the magnetoplasmoid would be compressed and accelerate to two hundred kilometers a second. This "encapsulated EMP bullet" would make an idea anti-missile weapon, generating an intense electromagnetic pulse on impact which would scramble the guidance system and any electronics, as well as causing thermal damage.

Koloc called the weapon "Phased Hyper-Acceleration for Shock, EMP, and Radiation" -- PHASER.

Ball lightning cannon? If the plasmoid lasts 5 seconds at 200 kps, that is a range of 1000 km. Cool! :D

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Controlling lightning would be much better served as an energy resource.

If ball lightning was used as a weapon a next world war would last a few weeks.

I think that one of Einstein's quotes is relevant here.

"I know not with what weapons World War Three will be fought but World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones."

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I think that one of Einstein's quotes is relevant here.

"I know not with what weapons World War Three will be fought but World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones."

I don't understand why. Why sticks and stones? But people are violent these days. Thy want to harness this and that for fighting. They want to be master of the world.

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I don't understand why. Why sticks and stones? But people are violent these days. Thy want to harness this and that for fighting. They want to be master of the world.

I think that what Einstein was referring to was that the next generation of weapons will be so devastating that World War Three would destroy the civilized world and drive the human race back to 'prehistoric' barbarism and weapons.

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I think that what Einstein was referring to was that the next generation of weapons will be so devastating that World War Three would destroy the civilized world and drive the human race back to 'prehistoric' barbarism and weapons.

I just hope that they never invent weapons like that. The guns and bombs were bad enough. In any case, do they really care about people's lives? They invented a weapon which can take so many lives in one shot

Edited by AGoodWriter

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I just hope that they never invent weapons like that. The guns and bombs were bad enough. In any case, do they really care about people's lives? They invented a weapon which can take so many lives in one shot

Unfortunately weapons development is a core focus of many governments. There are a lot of positive non-warlike technological developments as a consequence, but, that doesn't change the initial focus. Einstein had another two quotes which, I think, are also relevant.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."

and

"Only two things are infinite, the Universe and human stupidity and I'm not so sure about the former."

Sadly.

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Unfortunately weapons development is a core focus of many governments. There are a lot of positive non-warlike technological developments as a consequence, but, that doesn't change the initial focus. Einstein had another two quotes which, I think, are also relevant.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity."

and

"Only two things are infinite, the Universe and human stupidity and I'm not so sure about the former."

Sadly.

Finally, two of Einstein's quotes that I understand without explaination. And I think he is right.

The government is doing this not for the people but for themselves. By going into war, people are not going to be happy and people from their own country will not either. People never learn from history Dunno who said that but still...:mellow:

But you know, it can be that humanity has grown less with more means of defeating the enemies.

Edited by AGoodWriter

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Finally, two of Einstein's quotes that I understand without explaination. And I think he is right.

The government is doing this not for the people but for themselves. By going into war, people are not going to be happy and people from their own country will not either. People never learn from history Dunno who said that but still...:mellow:

But you know, it can be that humanity has grown less with more means of defeating the enemies.

There is always hope though, so here are three more of 'his'.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

and

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." I think that this is what we have to do, imagine and strive for a sane and moral world.

and

"Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

Actually, to finish with another,

"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."

Some pretty good insights from one of the great thinkers.

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"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them."

Could you help explain this one please? Why do geniuses prevent them?

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Could you help explain this one please? Why do geniuses prevent them?

I think that it is this. A genius can creatively imagine a potential problem and then devise a course of action which bypasses the problem before it even arises, as a consequence, there is no problem saving a lot of potential 'pain' or 'heartache'. An intellectual, according to Einstein, I think, can only devise a solution to a problem after it has happened, therefore the 'pain' and 'heartache' has already been experienced.

I hope that that is clearer than mud! :)

There is another old saying which is relevant here too.

"An ounce of prevention prevents a pound of cure." Can't remember who's quote this is but its spot on. :yes:

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I think there will be a huge debate about this. Such as lightning being natural and that we don't have the right to control it.......or something. I really don't care. But people will debate over stupid things.

The debate wouldn't last long.

Person A "Changing something that is Natural is wrong."

Person B "Everything we own/build/do is changing something That is Natural, whether it be the ground, air, water."

Debate over because person A is a hypocrite. Unless of course they stand in one spot in their entire life with no clothes, no nothing.

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"An ounce of prevention prevents a pound of cure."

This quote is much easier to understand

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This quote is much easier to understand

There is a lot to be said for those old quotes. They did 'come about' as a consequence of experience, or, if you like, 'learning from history'. :tu:

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There is a lot to be said for those old quotes. They did 'come about' as a consequence of experience, or, if you like, 'learning from history'. :tu:

Ya as long as the quotes are not contradictory.

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Ya as long as the quotes are not contradictory.

THAT is the 'tricky bit', sorting the wheat from the chaff! That's where personal assessment comes in, and given that people's opinions are quite often contradictory, "one person's rags can be another's riches". :lol:

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I remember I read somewhere that lightning doesn't have that much valuable energy for us.

Your correct it seems. LINK

"The energy liberated by lightning is indeed impressive. For example, during one lightning strike, tens of thousands of amps of electrical current flow between hundreds of millions of volts, releasing several billion joules of energy in just a fraction of a second. Furthermore, there are about four million lightning strikes on our planet every single day, resulting in a total worldwide power of more than 100 billion watts. If this large amount of energy could somehow be harnessed it would supply a significant fraction of the power needs of the United States."

"Unfortunately, lightning strikes are also distributed over a very large area, and the density of strikes at any one location is relatively small. At our 250-acre lightning center in north-central Florida, we get about six natural lightning strikes per year. Using rockets trailing wires we can trigger an additional dozen or so. The result is that even on a pretty big piece of land in the lightning capital of the United States the energy of the lightning would only power a few 100-watt light bulbs—and that assumes that somehow we could extract all the energy out of the lightning, which would be nearly impossible. To put this in perspective, if all the solar energy that falls upon the same area were captured then it would power several million 100-watt light bulbs. As a result, despite its impressive show of power, lightning is not in fact a practical source of energy."

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Your correct it seems. LINK

I've got my dose of facts for today. :)

Edited by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR:

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What possible use could ball lighting be as a weapon? we have guns already and they do any job fine, why carry around a gun that could overload and blow any second? I really doubt weapon stability.

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What would you need as a focus or spell component to use ball lightning as a weapon?..... :blink: Oh wait, D&D flashback there. In all seriousness, I think it would be pretty damn cool if we could harness that as a weapon, the sad thing is whatever we tested it on would then lead to animal and then possible human experimentation to see how it destroyed flesh. We do have somewhat of an idea as there have been people who have been struck by lightning, but that isn't intentional... maybe?

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Posted (edited)

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.

Edited by Mr.Delicious

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