A Particle Accelerator or Particle Beam Cannon is a device for accelerating protons, electrons, neutrons, or atoms to speeds approaching the speed of light. As weapons, the impact of these accelerated particles produces explosions and radiation damage in the target.
The particle accelerator has been made into a very effective weapon. While some use gravitic acceleration mechanisms, most use powerful electrical and/or magnetic fields to accelerate ions or charged subatomic particles. The same fields that accelerate the particles are used to focus them into concentrated beams, able to attack distant targets.
No information yet available.
The earliest particle accelerators were research devices rather than weapons. Particle accelerators, as research devices, existed for many decades before the technology was weaponized.
The generic term for any kind of weaponized particle accelerator is a particle accelerator weapon (PAWs). Hits from these particle accelerator weapons (PAWs) produce surface and radiation damage.
There are three broad classifications of particle accelerators, three that are weapons and one kind used for research:
Antimatter particle accelerator weapons (A-PAWs) fire antimatter particles, generally neutral charged anti-neutrons, at the target. Antimatter has an explosive effect when encountering normal matter. This limits A-PAWs to space weapons. A-PAWs are considered experimental weapons at TL–15 and consume huge quantities of power in operation.
Charged particle accelerator weapons (C-PAWs) fire charged particles. These propagate well through atmosphere (behaving like an electrical current flowing in one direction), but scatter in vacuum, due to electromagnetic repulsion.
C-PAWs are the ground weapons.
Neutral particle accelerator weapons (N-PAWs) fire charged particles through a device (foil screen, gas filter, or high-power laser) which strips off an electron or adds a proton. The resultant beam is neutrally charged. These beams break up rapidly in atmosphere, but perform flawlessly in space.
Other versions of the N-PAWs use a magnetic field to accelerate uncharged neutrons to relativistic velocities. These weapons have similar operational characteristics.
N-PAWs are the space weapons.
Research particle accelerator devices (R-PADs) are generally curved, while military PAWs are generally straight.
This allows military designs to be less-complicated and more able to withstand battle damage.
|This article is missing content for one or more detailed sections. Additional details are required to complete the article. You can help the Traveller Wiki by expanding it.|