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Old March 8th, 2004, 10:35 PM   #1
Mike Wright
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Default The Bullets don't work

Well obviously I think everyone would rather see lasers than bullets being fired from the Vipers right? To me this is about as frustrating as making Starbuck a woman.

But anyone actually take a look at the Viper MkII? How the hell would you load a magazine on that thing? Obviously the gun was originally intended to be a laser cannon, otherwise they'd have integrated it into the hull or made the wing thicker. (That is if they were thinking about this at all...)

It makes sense with the Mark VII, (which in my opinion, looked bad) cause the cannon is loaded into the wing. But it just doesn't work on the Mark II.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 12:26 AM   #2
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I agree the bullets don't work for me either.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 01:45 AM   #3
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Nope. The bullets worked great for me. And have you ever heard of caseless ammunition? Or what about a railgun? lots of small projectiles that don't take up much space being fed in a variety of ways through who knows what and delivered to the railgun and... BINGO! A very effective space weapon.

Have a nice day! :laugh:

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Old March 9th, 2004, 02:26 AM   #4
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ya know.. I never understood while planes in WWII were emptying tons of ammo, that the recoil never stopped the plane and made it stall. it seems to be disobeying the laws of energy and conservation of momentum. Every force creates an exact and opposite force.


I had a friend who built a remote control model plane and put those estes rockets on each wing. It worked perfect. Flew well, the rockets launched fine. But the recoil caused the plane to stall and it fell out of the sky.

The wings are too thin for bullets in Moore's BG. But its fiction. Its not a glaring error. I don't mind it and it doesn't cause me to suspend my belief of the show. The old show was like that too with aerodynamic combat in space.


Now in the old movie, The Black Hole, where humans rush out into a vacuum to save the robots from freezing... THAT bothers me!

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Old March 9th, 2004, 05:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas7g
ya know.. I never understood while planes in WWII were emptying tons of ammo, that the recoil never stopped the plane and made it stall. it seems to be disobeying the laws of energy and conservation of momentum. Every force creates an exact and opposite force.
Actually, the recoil did slow down the planes. Which is why short bursts at close range were the norm rather than the hollywood "just-hold down-the-fire-button" dog fight movies. Plus you only have so much ammo on board. Conservation of ammo was practiced by all pilots on both sides during a mission. Maneuvering and maintaining the effective killing range was difficult at best. The recoil on the early jets, through the Korean war, really slowed them down dramatically and jet pilots had to learn to be patient and not shoot when the enemy was just inside the max range of their guns but wait until they were in the killing zone, so more than one burst can be made.

Just view some of the old gun camera films shot during WWII and Korea. The distance between the fighters (dog fights) and bombers are very close and you can see the distance grow when the pilot shoots off a burst. The BF109 and FW190 shooting down B17's and B24's are very telling. You can see the fighter close in rapidly, then almost stop or match the bombers speed when they fire a burst from their guns and cannons.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 06:48 AM   #6
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I loved the bullets! We've seen tons of lasers. It was a nice change of pace.

Even on modern aircraft bullets have an impact on the speed. In fact, the A-10 Warthog WILL stall if it fires its 30mm gatling-style cannon for too long.

Very cool airplane though.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 12:18 PM   #7
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Do any of you military types have solid data on how many seconds of sustained fire a typical military aircraft can store in magazine?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 02:37 PM   #8
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SF- Great Info! Thank you.

DM-
I believe most modern US fighters use the M61 Vulcan Gatling Gun. That's like 6000 rounds per minute. Unfortunately planes only carry about 500-1000 rounds of ammo. So that's like six seconds of sustained fire.

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Old March 9th, 2004, 02:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Marley
Do any of you military types have solid data on how many seconds of sustained fire a typical military aircraft can store in magazine?
It varies by aircraft. You would have to look up the specific aircraft model and look at the specs. Also, armament can be changed for specific missions, so the amount of ammo carried will change as will the rate of fire. Weight and physical space to store ammo is a major concern and it affects range, maneuverability, and available firepower. Actually your question is quite confusing....but any plane should be able to empty its magazine, depending on the guns rate of fire, within a few minutes. For instance, a P47 carried 450 rounds per wing but depending on the gun model, the Browning machine gun had a rate of fire between 450-850 rounds per minute (BTW, the maximum was 1,200). Here's a link you can read about WWII guns maximum rate of fire. Note: in actual use, the rate of fire was considerably less or changed to a lower rate of fire:

http://www.ww2guide.com/guns.shtml
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Old March 9th, 2004, 03:55 PM   #10
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Whether bullets (solid projectiles) work depends a lot on how you envision those projectiles. But let's recall that the "lasers" on Star Wars and BG didn't really look and act like lasers. They are more like miniature photon torpedoes. Definitely slow-moving projectiles, not (almost) instantaneous beams. So our discussion is really only about whether the projectiles are solid mass or bundles of energy. I like the physics of solid mass better.

I don't have time right now, but later I will fish out, copy, and repost my earlier argument in favor of bullets.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 04:45 PM   #11
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Personnaly, I preferred lasers to the bullets.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #12
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I like both, can I say that? No I'm not being indecisive. It took me a while to get used to the bullets , but they grew on me. Part of me still likes the "bundles of energy" maybe they could have had the old vipers fire the "lasers" and the new ones bullets, does it have to be either or?. The part that I found disturbing was the use of the nuclear bombs (I liked the horrible intensity of it but it was very hard to watch helpless fighter pilots and civilians being picked off). They kept saying 50 kg bomb, how does this compare to those that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? This is what I found with regards to those two bombs "Little Boy" happened to weigh 8,000 pounds and contained destructive power equal to 12.5 kilotons of TNT. The "Fat Man," was much larger and had the destructive capabilities of 22 kilotons of TNT.
Could someone make a comparison for me so that I can understand ?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 09:41 PM   #13
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Somewhere in the mini they monitored a 50kT nuclear blast, so that would equate to about 2 "Fat Man" bombs.

Most of the stuff we have mounted on our ICBMs are rated in mTs (megatons), the equivalent of multiple million pounds of TNT (200mT, etc.)
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Old March 9th, 2004, 10:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warhammerdriver
Somewhere in the mini they monitored a 50kT nuclear blast, so that would equate to about 2 "Fat Man" bombs.

Most of the stuff we have mounted on our ICBMs are rated in mTs (megatons), the equivalent of multiple million pounds of TNT (200mT, etc.)
Ok I understand the first part, I guessed when they said that, in the mini that it was probably at least the size of one of the bombs that hit Hiroshima or Nagasaki

But you lost me in the second half

1) What is an ICBM?:confused:

2) If a megaton is equal to 1000 kilotons and a ICBM carries 200mgT then thatís equal to 200,000 kilotons. Now if the bomb that hit Nagasaki was equal to 22kT of TNT destructive power, then what is carried by an ICBM is 100 times greater? My brain is reeling!

3) Is this all in one bomb? Several bombs?

ďNagasakiCity: DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE ATOMIC BOMB EXPLOSION

Leveled Area...................6.7 million square meters
Damaged Houses:
Completely Burned ------11,574
Completely Destroyed-----1,326
Badly Damaged------------5,509
Total-------------------18,409

Casualties
Killed------73,884
Injured-----74,909
Total------148,793

(Large numbers of people died in the following years from the effects of radioactive poisoning.)Ē

NOTE: and Nagasaki had the least damage and death of the two cities (there is no face for
this)
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Old March 10th, 2004, 10:47 AM   #15
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An ICBM is in Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. They are what you see in the bunkers and can be fired into orbit from the ground. Currently the US is the only country to have ICBMs. (I've heard mixed stories about Russia, they may have ICBMs but I don't believe they have the same range... Hence the Cuban Missile Crisis... They had to ship them to Cuba to scare the crap out of us)

There are several reasons why ICBMs are more destructive than atomic bombs. For one, they carry multiple warheads that break apart on re-entry, thus spreading out the damage. They've also made many improvements since then, cobalt casings and something to do with hydrogen. I know the cobalt casings magnefy the atomic reaction by preventing electrons from escaping the frame better then the original casing. (I've heard an atomic reaction being described as several million mouse traps layed out inside a glass case, one goes off which sets off a chain reaction among the rest... Its interesting to see in practice... The mousetraps I mean)

I once heard that the US contains enough nuclear firepower to destroy the Earth 12 times over. Kinda scary to think about.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 04:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wright
An ICBM is in Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile. They are what you see in the bunkers and can be fired into orbit from the ground.
There are several reasons why ICBMs are more destructive than atomic bombs. For one, they carry multiple warheads that break apart on re-entry, thus spreading out the damage. They've also made many improvements since then, cobalt casings and something to do with hydrogen. I know the cobalt casings magnefy the atomic reaction by preventing electrons from escaping the frame better then the original casing. (I've heard an atomic reaction being described as several million mouse traps layed out inside a glass case, one goes off which sets off a chain reaction among the rest... Its interesting to see in practice... The mousetraps I mean)

I once heard that the US contains enough nuclear firepower to destroy the Earth 12 times over. Kinda scary to think about.
Mike thank's so much for explaining, when you say into orbit you actually mean outside the earth's atmosphere?
Mike I find it scary to imagine even a quarter of the earth destroyed! I can 't imagine why anyone would need to have more than that, anything more and you wouldn't survive either, even that would probably be too much radiation floating around.
I wondered about this in relation to the people that Helo and Sharon rescued on Caprica and even their exposure to the radiation.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 04:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wright
Currently the US is the only country to have ICBMs.
This didnít ring true with me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by www.fas.org
A sale of an ICBM would fly in the face of these normative trends, laws and procedures. It would also be nearly unprecedented. Only nine states (Britain, China, France, India, Israel, Japan, Russia, the Ukraine and the U.S.) and the European Space Agency currently possess intercontinental range missiles or space launchers.
Now, who does and who doesnít have them is open to debate (unless youíre with a certain clandestine organization) but Iíd say at a minimum, China and certain Russian states also have ICBMs.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:42 PM   #18
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As a former U.S. Army Chemical Officer (meaning I went to school on chemical, nuclear, and biological warfare) I will give a quick overview on some of the above subjects. If anyone has other questions on this I will answer them on this thread as they arise. I can plot nuclear detonantions and downwind hazards so I am pretty familiar with nuclear targeting potential.

On the ICBM issue. There are many countries with missiles but only a handful have both missiles that are truly intercontental and have nuclear warheads to put them on. The only countries that have nuclear warheads and the capability to reach the United States with their missiles are:

Russia - they could still devastate this country inside an hour if they wanted.
China - Has a limited ability to deliver a small number of nuclear weapons to the Western most or Northern most states.
North Korea - May and that's a big may have one or two nuclear warheads that might be able to be delivered to Alaska or Hawaii. Some people think as far as Seattle but it is doubtful.
UK - Could hit anywhere on the Earth if they moved their submarine borne ICBMs to the right spot. Good thing they're civilized.
France - Last I heard they could hit a target from Russia to the U.S. East Coast.

Israel, Pakistan, and India - Can hit targets in their region but unable to hit the U.S.

On nuclear warfare in general:
There is a diminishing return on large yield nuclear weapons. The big weapons (megaton plus yields) are primarily designed to destroyed hardened military targets like enemy missile silos. The larger the yield the larger the explosive blast area extends relative to the area where radiation would initially kill you. The inverse is true at smaller yields. In other words if your hit by a big bomb and survive the blast you're problably OK. On a "little" nuke radiation is a much bigger threat to you.

Destroying populated cities could be accomplished with a relatively small amount of nuclear weapons. It may only take 200 or so nuclear weapons to wipe out half the U.S. population. After that however because of the way population density is it is very hard to wipe out a significantly larger percent of the population even if you were using unthinkable numbers of nuclear weapons. "In other words the cylons still have to come down and kill the people the old fashioned way"

Radiation to be deadly has to have a short half life. Most areas hit with nuclear weapons are pretty much radiation free within a few weeks. The stories of radiated areas for 100s of years is a gross exageration. As you can see from Nagasaki and Hiroshima radiation is not a long term issue unless you suffer radiation damage at the moment of the blast or during the immediate days and weeks after the fact.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:54 PM   #19
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Right, but (and correct me if Iím wrong) if Pakistan has a missile that can hit, say Africa or Austrialia, by definition donít they still have an ICBM? Or does the implied meaning of ICBM mean hit *any* continent on the planet?
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Old March 10th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #20
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Thanks antelope, I had no idea...
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Old March 10th, 2004, 06:14 PM   #21
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You are correct boomer65! That's why I mentioned about hitting the U.S. I believe Israel would have no problem hitting Africa or Europe if it desired with its current nuclear missiles. India probably could make an intercontinental missile if it wanted but its military missiles at this time are only designed to hit Pakistan (and probably China). Pakistan does not have the technology today to hit beyond Asia with missiles (at least that's the last I read or heard).

Usually these medium range missiles are referred to as IRBM(intermediate range ballistic missiles) or TBM(theatre ballistic missiles). The Scud of the Gulf War or the V-2 of World War II are perfect examples.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #22
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Yeah I forgot about subs...

I remember hearing in school that the US was the only country with true ICBMs, but hey, that was seven years ago and you seem to be much more knowledgable on the subject, so I will take your word for it.

I'm not sure about the radiation issue though. I mean I understand that it probably wouldn't be lethal for the long term, but wouldn't it still have an effect? Otherwise why would we be seeing studies on Chernoble and Hanford here in Washington? Of course both of those were nuclear power plants... One meltdown, one just leaking waste dumps...

In our problem solving class at ITT Tech a couple quarters ago we discussed carbon dating and half-lifes to some extent, and he mentioned a material (I forget the name of it) that if you were to make a nuclear warhead out of it and dropped it on a city, the halflife was only 30 days. So after 30 days you'd go to it, test for radation, and if it was clear plant corn with no adverse effect. He said they don't make warheads out of that because Uranium (or plutonium, which ever is used) is much cheaper to produce. I know his wife is in the military and they're getting ready to draft him, so I trust the source... I just wish I could remember the name of the material...
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Old March 11th, 2004, 01:44 PM   #23
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Radiation kills basically three ways:

At the instant of detonation a massive amount of radiation is released from the nuclear reaction. That radiation is there and then a moment later gone. It is this radiation that kills most people. It is like being hit with minature bullets at the atomic level. If you are close enough to the detonation and are not killed by the heat and blast effects you may have been "wounded" by enough hits from these miniature atomic bullets to die from your wounds. As your internal organs fail you die of radiation sickness. Some people may have cells and DNA altered by these immediate effects. Long term these changes may cause cancer. You may die from this cancer twenty years from now but the event that caused it was at the time of the blast.

When the nuclear weapon explodes it releases a large number of neutrons. These neutrons turn non-radioactive substances into radioactive substances. These newly radioactive substances are highly unstable. They usually have half lifes measured in seconds to a few days. This is what causes the bomb site to be radioactive. This is also what causes most fallout. These substances can be deadly and will kill people if you stay around or inhale enough of these particles. This is the reason you want to avoid fallout and the blast area. Within a few weeks time however this stuff basically has returned to normal.

Some fissionable material, uranium or plutonium will not be consumed in the blast. This remaining material although extremely small in amount will remain in the environment. Although it is a theoretical long term hazard the amount we are talking about is so small and has so long a half life that it is in reality only an issue in theory not reality. The threat of the radiation from your smoke detector in your house would be a greater threat to your family.

Bottomline: If you survive a nuclear blast and don't suffer from or are able to recover from radiation sickness you probably are just fine. Don't go to see the bomb site as a looky lou, (at least for a month) and if you are down wind from the explosion I would move out for a week or two if you can. If not stay indoors. If your property is covered in fallout get a hose and wash it away.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 03:05 PM   #24
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Small detail: my recollection is that the Cylon bombs dropped on the planet were 50 megaton, while the anti-ship weapons such as hit the Galactica's port landing bay were 50 kiloton, 1000 times smaller. The fake blast that Apollo created was also recorded by the Galactica's instruments as a 50 kiloton blast. I still think that even a "mere" 50 kiloton blast, even in a vacuum, would have demolished the entire landing bay and very likely would have broken the ship clean in half, but that's artistic license, I suppose.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 04:23 PM   #25
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I am going to have to believe that in the colonial world of Moore whatever type of material they use in place of our type metals to make space warships must be denser and have a melting point greater than anything what we can even imagine.

Realistically that Battlestar should have been entirely destroyed if that was anything remotely close to a 50 kiloton nuclear weapon.

In the theoretical realm however if as some speculate the way to move in space in the future is by manipulating artifically created gravitational fields. Maybe a futuristic warship like Galactica is shielded by an artificial gravitational field. Theoretically other than at point of impact the nuclear force would simply sweep around the Galactica after exploding only damaging the immediate point of impact. Being that no one is floating around inside the Galactica or any other colonial ships I would assume they have conquered the technology of artifical gravity fields. As such a nuclear weapon would have a big impact on undefended civilian areas but little to no effect on a functioning shielded warship. It would look spectacular but have little effect.

If the above is true it would also mean the bullets would not strike a Battlestar unless they were made in some unique manner that repelled artificial gravity fields.

Interesting thoughts on realism. I think this may be simply a suspend reality issue. The vipers seemed to move off inertia from a rail gun and old fashioned rockets. I saw no visible engine on the cylon raiders. I think this is an issue not to ponder to hard or our heads will hurt and we still won't have an answer that works.
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Old March 12th, 2004, 03:23 PM   #26
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Actually I had been thinking earlier about how gravitational technology might be used in the jump engines. It might very well be that Colonial technology is based entirely upon gravitational technology. I'll have to do up some graphics and such...
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Old March 14th, 2004, 05:27 PM   #27
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Re - The beams vs bullets debate....

I'm no physics expert, but what about ion or plasma based weapons (as used in Babylon 5), they appear to be energy projectiles as opposed to beams. Perhaps the original Cylons used something along those lines.

Just a thought....

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Old March 14th, 2004, 06:07 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomasbombadil
Whether bullets (solid projectiles) work depends a lot on how you envision those projectiles. But let's recall that the "lasers" on Star Wars and BG didn't really look and act like lasers. They are more like miniature photon torpedoes. Definitely slow-moving projectiles, not instantaneous beams. So our discussion is really only about whether the projectiles are solid mass or bundles of energy. I like the physics of solid mass better.

I don't have time right now, but later I will fish out, copy, and repost my earlier argument in favor of bullets.
Here's my earlier post on the topic:

"Some people have complained about the bullets, but those bullets, properly explained, could actually be a triumph of realism.

You want lasers instead? The lasers would have to be WAY more powerful than any laser we have now. Any contemporary laser would only punch a thin hole a short distance into ordinary steel, and only at very close range, well under a mile. No good for space battles.

You say that Caprica will have a much more potent energy source than we have now? Great! Let's use bullets instead. Magnetically accelerated to, oh, half the speed of light. That would take a huge amount of energy, which is exactly what we want. We will allow the source of the energy to remain mysterious at present.

First, there is range. A bullet that fast could be useful against a target thousands of miles away. Perfect. Then there's the size of the bullet. Imagine something roughly the size of a BB. Say, 360 bullets per pound, for ease of calculation. If the bullet travels a little over one half c, or say 100,000 miles per second, how much inertial energy does it pack? Assuming that kinetic energy is proportional to mass times speed, then one such bullet would pack the same wallop as a 500 pound projectile traveling at 2000 miles per hour. Work it out!

Possible problem: would the potential energy be released suddenly and destructively on impact, or would the bullet punch a tiny hole right through the target? Here I invite a professional physicist to contribute his/her thoughts, but I suspect that the bullet would vaporize instantly, and I am guessing that the vapor would expand rapidly enough to punch out a conical hole with a fairly large exit crater, several inches across at least, as it pushed the volatilized resistance mass of the target ahead of it. Pretty destructive. Benefit? The "Rambo Effect" is actually realized. (The RE occurs when a single Huey shoots enough bullets to destroy an entire prison facility, even though in real life it would take at least a C130, maybe two, to lift that much ammunition into the air.) If a Viper fired these bullets at a leisurely 60 rounds per second, or 3600 per minute, that's only ten pounds per minute. Give the Viper a 600 pound ammo tank and the pilot can squeeze the trigger for a solid hour without letting up. That should be enough. That also explains how the Galactica can shoot a solid curtain of bullets for as long as it did escaping Ragnor, without depleting its reserves appreciably, even if the Galactica's heavy weapons shot a much more massive bullet."

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Old March 14th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomasbombadil
Here's my earlier post on the topic:

"Some people have complained about the bullets, but those bullets, properly explained, could actually be a triumph of realism.

You want lasers instead? The lasers would have to be WAY more powerful than any laser we have now. Any contemporary laser would only punch a thin hole a short distance into ordinary steel, and only at very close range, well under a mile. No good for space battles.

You say that Caprica will have a much more potent energy source than we have now? Great! Let's use bullets instead. Magnetically accelerated to, oh, half the speed of light. That would take a huge amount of energy, which is exactly what we want. We will allow the source of the energy to remain mysterious at present.

First, there is range. A bullet that fast could be useful against a target thousands of miles away. Perfect. Then there's the size of the bullet. Imagine something roughly the size of a BB. Say, 360 bullets per pound, for ease of calculation. If the bullet travels a little over one half c, or say 100,000 miles per second, how much inertial energy does it pack? Assuming that kinetic energy is proportional to mass times speed, then one such bullet would pack the same wallop as a 500 pound projectile traveling at 2000 miles per hour. Work it out!

Possible problem: would the potential energy be released suddenly and destructively on impact, or would the bullet punch a tiny hole right through the target? Here I invite a professional physicist to contribute his/her thoughts, but I suspect that the bullet would vaporize instantly, and I am guessing that the vapor would expand rapidly enough to punch out a conical hole with a fairly large exit crater, several inches across at least, as it pushed the volatilized resistance mass of the target ahead of it. Pretty destructive. Benefit? The "Rambo Effect" is actually realized. (The RE occurs when a single Huey shoots enough bullets to destroy an entire prison facility, even though in real life it would take at least a C130, maybe two, to lift that much ammunition into the air.) If a Viper fired these bullets at a leisurely 60 rounds per second, or 3600 per minute, that's only ten pounds per minute. Give the Viper a 600 pound ammo tank and the pilot can squeeze the trigger for a solid hour without letting up. That should be enough. That also explains how the Galactica can shoot a solid curtain of bullets for as long as it did escaping Ragnor, without depleting its reserves appreciably, even if the Galactica's heavy weapons shot a much more massive bullet."

THomas Thank you for posting. I think you're right.
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Old March 14th, 2004, 08:17 PM   #30
warhammerdriver
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Champlain Valley, New York
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A lot of what the Galactica was firing were "flak" rounds, though.

Side note--If I were in Adama's place, I'd stuff ammo in every available square inch of my ship. Probably cram some in some of the emptier civilain ships, too. (Take as much as I could because I can't come back for more) Might even set delayed charges in Ragnar itself to blow it, denying the use of what I couldn't take to the enemy.

On the bullets vs lasers, from a physics standpoint, the bullets would be a better choice I think. From a special effects view though, the lasers would be better.
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