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Archive for the ‘weapons’ category

Apr 28, 2019

Cold Plasma Torch Produces a Cleansing Flame that Never Consumes

Posted by in category: weapons

It’s basically a lightsaber. Except smaller. And with an invisible blade. And cold to the touch. But other than that, this homebrew cold plasma torch (YouTube, embedded below) is just like the Jedi’s choice in elegant weaponry.

Perhaps we shouldn’t kid [Justin] given how hard he worked on this project – seventeen prototypes before hitting on the version seen in the video below – but he himself notes the underwhelming appearance of the torch without the benefit of long-exposure photography. That doesn’t detract from how cool this build is, pun intended. As [Justin] explains, cold plasma or non-equilibrium plasma is an ionized stream of gas where the electron temperature is much hotter than the temperature of the heavier, more thermally conductive species in the stream. It’s pretty common stuff, seen commercially in everything from mercury vapor lamps to microbial sterilization.

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Apr 18, 2019

HOW BULLETPROOF IS MASTER CHIEF — Halo Science

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, cyborgs, science, weapons

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In the world of Halo, Master Chief is a super soldier outfitted with one of the most advanced sets of body armor ever produced by mankind. So how bullet proof if Master Chief? Master Chief Doesn’t Want to Die.

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Mar 5, 2019

The force is with us, always? Tuning quantum vacuum forces from attractive to repulsive

Posted by in categories: quantum physics, weapons

The force is strong not only in Star Wars lore but also as a fundamental property in physics. For example, scientists can put two uncharged metal plates close together in a vacuum, and “voila!” —-they will attract each other like Luke Skywalker and his trusted lightsaber.

In 1948, Dutch theoretical physicist Hendrick Casimir first predicted an attractive force responsible for this effect—later dubbed the Casimir effect. A half-century later, in 1996, the Casimir force was experimentally measured for the first time by Steve Lamoreaux at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

But just like the light and dark side of the force in Star Wars, scientists have wondered, can there be an equal yet opposite kind of Casimir force?

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Feb 27, 2019

The French Fencing Federation introduces lightsaber dueling as a new sport

Posted by in categories: entertainment, weapons

From pop culture channel InqPOP:


Inspired by the Star Wars movie franchise, this newly recognized sport by the French is different from how the other weapons are used in fencing. For one, it requires combatants to pull their sword from behind themselves before they can try to strike their opponent. It also has rounds that last three minutes. And the first duelist who will reach 15 victories will be announced as the winner.

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Feb 18, 2019

In France, the Force is strong with lightsaber dueling

Posted by in categories: computing, weapons

BEAUMONT-SUR-OISE, France (AP) — Master Yoda, dust off his French, he must.

It’s now easier than ever in France to act out “Star Wars” fantasies, because its fencing federation has borrowed from a galaxy far, far away and officially recognized lightsaber dueling as a competitive sport, granting the iconic weapon from George Lucas’ saga the same status as the foil, epee and sabre, the traditional blades used at the Olympics.

Of course, the LED-lit, rigid polycarbonate lightsaber replicas can’t slice a Sith lord in half. But they look and, with the more expensive sabers equipped with a chip in their hilt that emits a throaty electric rumble, even sound remarkably like the silver screen blades that Yoda and other characters wield in the blockbuster movies.

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Oct 18, 2018

Sapphire gem-based ‘transparent’ armor protects soldiers from snipers

Posted by in categories: military, weapons

Made from a synthetic version of the highly-prized sapphire gemstone, new transparent armor is lighter, thinner and pulverizes bullets on impact.

Currently used by the military on powerful missile launchers and state-of-the-art fighter jets, the unusual transparent armor also has wide-ranging potential to protect troops on the battlefield.

Sapphire gems have long been sought after for their stunning blue beauty, but synthetic sapphires are prized for combat applications. The sapphire is harvested synthetically, producing pure sapphires that are transparent like glass — instead of the iconic blue.

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Aug 10, 2018

Drone Assassination Attempt Foreshadows Future Events

Posted by in categories: drones, law enforcement, terrorism, weapons

Until this past year, consumer drones carried tiny ultralight cameras, but they just didn’t have the energy or the reserve to carry much else. They certainly could not deliver much of a product or payload. They flew for 15 minutes, lacked the capacity to carry excess weight, and had short range.

But market demand sparks innovation. Amazon and Domino’s Pizza are experimenting with drone delivery. The improvements needed to serve these needs are quickly bubbling down to unlicensed weekend pilots. Hexacopters with 4K cameras, gimbals and retracting landing gear are available for under $400. Tiny foldable drones with 720p cameras are available for $35. Some models don’t even need a pilot on a joystick. You can preprogram the flight path to reach any target using GPS, or you can guide them by making gestures with your hand. The drone actually looks back over its shoulder and responds to your hand-waving commands.

Lance Ulanoff is a cartoonist and robotics fantech expert. But he shares a lot in common with Wild Ducks. He is an eclectic journalist and social media commentator.

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Jul 2, 2018

China brings Star Wars to life with ‘laser AK-47’ that can set fire to targets a kilometre away

Posted by in category: weapons

Handheld weapons that could set fire to targets from long distances are no longer confined to science fiction but a fact of life, according to researchers.

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May 8, 2018

This ‘Star Wars’ AR game Is Making Lightsaber Duels Real

Posted by in categories: augmented reality, weapons

It wouldn’t be #MayTheFourth without some awesome Star Wars news.

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Mar 15, 2018

Why Earth’s History Appears So Miraculous

Posted by in category: weapons

The strange, cosmic reason our evolutionary path will look ever luckier the longer we survive.

I t was hard times for the bomber pilots that floated over Europe, their planes incinerating cities below, like birds of prey. Even as they turned the once-bustling streets beneath to howling firestorms, death had become a close companion to the crews of the Allied bombers as well. In fact, surviving a tour with the Bomber Command had become a virtual coin flip. While their munitions fell mutely from bomb bays, an upward sleet of fire from smoldering city grids and darkened farmland shot the planes out of the sky like clay pigeons. For recruits encountering the freshly empty bunk beds of dead airmen, morale was sapped before they could even get in the cockpit. Hoping to slow this attrition, Allied officers studied the pattern of bullet holes in returning aircraft for vulnerable parts to reinforce with armor.

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