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Month Index: March, 1995


From:     "A little fish in a big pond." <NSBOS0340@?????.?????.edu>
Date:     Wed, 15 Mar 1995 14:41:52 -0600 (CST)
Subject:  Re: SPJ: About Lasers
Point I -
   Aren't we getting a bit technical here?  I mean, if we're going to
assume that science works in the spelljammer setting, that's fine and
cool, but I'd like some warning before the discussion turns to the finer
points of laser design (powder weapons are not necessarilly the chemical
equivalent of gunpowder, btw, they could easily be an alchemical explosive).

Point II -
   If we ARE going to get technical, sunlight can be focused into a burning
spot by a lens (which could be a gem), but this is not a "laser".  A laser
is where all the light rays are travelling in parallel paths (and it only
does damage if they're extremely concentrated as well).
   I don't believe that it's possible to make sunlight into a laser
without several powerful computers constantly calculating exactly how to
reflect it each moment; and you'd need a lot of mirrors and several
lenses.
   It is possible to make a large pair of lenses which can shift their
distance from each other, and thus focus a point of extreme heat/light
on a point several hundred yards away.  This would be a great defense
system against ships, if you had a nice, high wall; just set them on fire
as they approach.  It would not make a good melee weapon, unfortunately,
unless you had something like Continual Light (so you could shift the
sun's "position" in order to hit someting as well).

:: Hans van Dongen said ::
> Continual Light is supposed to be equivalent to bright sunlight. The idea
> of a laser device is to concentrate the light beam in a small, coherent
> ray that keeps itself from dying out by resonance with itself. For this,
> you need light of a pure quality and one distinct color, and that's exactly

   A laser does not, last I heard, need to be of a distinct color.  A ray of
light never really dies out.  It's a photon-wave which travels until it
hits something.  The reason light reduces as you get further out from
something is because as you radiate out in a sphere, any given volume has
fewer and fewer photons in it - they're spreading out.  A laser doesn't
fade (in theory; we've never managed a perfect laser yet) because it
doesn't spread out.
   Of course, that ASSUMES modern science.  My Pec campaign uses the old
ether theories and says to heck with science ;)

:: Sunny Koh said ::
> The first laser invented here on EARTH and IN OUR TIME was a diamond
> focusing SUN light <-- The Key Word is _SUN_LIGHT_, and it uses a diamond
> to focus the light energy into a beam. I can quote from the movie
> diamonds are forever, yes, I'm a fan of James Bond, that the plot was to
> deploy a diamond laser into space where it focus the SUN into laser

   Are you certain it was a laser?  You can make a laser out of the same
elements as sunlight, certainly, but it would take as much work as making
a laser out of a flashlight (although it would actually do damage, whereas
a flashlight laser would do hardly anything at all other than look
pretty).
   Ah, to heck with it.  Let's talk about fantasy.

Thomas
nsbos0340@?????.?????.edu


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Month Index: March, 1995

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