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Krad-edis
12 March 2001, 02:16 PM
I have a real blaster, but I don't have a radar gun...can someone help me out here? Just kidding! I am in the middle of a debate on blaster bolts. According to the findings so far, everyone agrees that blaster bolts are not pure light, and are some kind of energy plasma...that may contain some form of physical mass. Whatever the case may be, the question that I was most interested in is how fast do they travel? Pure light moves at the speed of light, but how fast does impure light energy move? Does it move faster than slugthrower rounds or slower? My guess is faster, because blaster bolt energy (if it has actual mass, I am no scientist) probably has less weight than a slugthrower round, and this would explain why they should go faster and have better range since bullets are more prone to the effects of gravity, whereas semi-light plasma..should not be as effected as much, if at all. Does anyone have an educated guess as to how fast blaster bolts (energy plasma) move at? I'm not particularly looking for numbers, but either faster than bullets or slower. Anything on this subject would be appreciated. They will give me a better idea on how to reach a verdict on this whole subject.

Emperor Xanderich II
12 March 2001, 02:52 PM
Well, in the movies you can actually see the blaster bolts, which means they must move relatively slow. If you go by this, then blaster bolts would definately be slower than bullets.

However, I would be inclined to say that they don't actually go this slow, as otherwise over longer ranges (don't forget the movies on see short range action really) you would never hit someone unless they were looking the other way.

But it never seems as fun this way. I remember playing the first TIE Fighter game and you could see the turbolaser shots coming towards you and you could dodge. It was cool. Then in the follow-up games all the shots went really fast and you couldn't tell what was going on, you just got hit. I never found it as fun this way.

The good thing is, the game rules go over this kind of thing, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. Unless you have a particular reason for wanting to know...:)

Krad-edis
12 March 2001, 04:11 PM
Has anyone heard of tracers? If you have ever watched old WWII dog fight footage, or ship vs plane attack, you will notice that some of the rounds you can actually see, kind of like in Star Wars. These rounds are called tracers, they allow the targeter to get a rough idea of whether they are on the right trajectory of hitting a target. Even though you can see these bullets, they are still moving as fast as the other bullets (which you cannot see). Being able to see bullets as opposed to being able to see blaster shots is irrelevent to which is faster in regards to tracers. But the big thing to remember is that, and my point is that I was trying to prove in the beginning that you cannot dodge a bullet! You can however dodge an opponent's aim. A bullet moves faster than the speed of sound, a character (unless they are from Heroes Unlimited or Marvel Super Heroes) can not do this. My whole point of this argument is to ask basically how much of a disadvantage someone would be at if they are being sniped (the target is flat-footed)when in regards to how fast a bullet would travel as opposed to a blaster bolt. This argument could be used in determining outcome rolls, or in a forensic situation as to having the character (if they are detectives) in trying to figure out where the gunmen may have fired there shot. Air speed velocity of a weapon is important in determining things in that sense. I appreciate your answer Emperor Xanderich II, but it has even left me more of an impass.

Dark Lord Drax
12 March 2001, 05:39 PM
I had posted about this on the first thread about blasters before reading this thread, so I guess I ought to try and help out here.
Blaster bolts are made of blaster gasses and cohearent light. The light is what we actually see, and the gass is what gives the bolt its structure and causes it to explode on its target. The light also serves a second function and that is to carry the gas. When the trigger is squeezed on the blaster, there is no internal explosion to launch a bullet (like most guns work). What happens is that a 'window' is opened to allow the light to escape (like a camera shutter). The gas exits the barrel along with the light. Since the light is actually 'carrying' the gas, the gas would effectively move at light speed. When we see a bolt traveling, it could really be said that we are seeing the after-image. This actually disputes the cinematics of the Star Wars movies because in the movies you see a person react to being shot after we see the bolt hit them. If the bolt we saw was an after-image then they would react before the shot really hit them, and we would also see a longer trail. However, the after-image theory is only a scientific way of attempting an explanation, and I think that since we're in the Star Wars universe, science in that time period isn't something we could comprehend. The SW universe is too advanced for people who have never lived in it to explain it.
Anyway, to answer your question, blaster bolts effectively move faster than a bullet. This could also be proven scientifically, but I am not going to do so at this time. All that is important is the 'what' not neccessarily the 'why'.

Krad-edis
12 March 2001, 08:02 PM
So what you are saying is that blaster bolts move at the speed of light, because the tybanna gas discharge is carried along by light? That somewhat supports what I was trying to say earlier, but I had a few critics. I don't see how light energy coming out of a crystal (in the barrel), could be considered to be slow, but then again they were speaking of Jedi blocking them with their lightsabers. I'd like to see someone block a blaster bolt without the force. My arguement was that the force gives a Jedi the ability to see where the blaster bolt will be, not the ability to see the bolt as it comes in. In other words it tells the Jedi where the ball will be, and doesn't help them keep their eyes on the ball. Blaster bolts are not baseballs. They move faster than sound, and faster than bullets...and perhaps the speed of actual light. Thank you Dark Lord Drax for answering my question with a yes or no (they are faster or slower)answer at the end. "This could all be proven scientifically, but I am not going to do so at this time." I am really curious about how you intend to do that, do you have a blaster? If you do, where did you pick one up? I'd like to get one too.

Dark Lord Drax
13 March 2001, 11:41 AM
My views of the Force and how it enables a Jedi to block incoming blaster attacks:
The Force first allows the Jedi to predict the attack before it is fired. Secondly, what do you do about rapid shots? Even if you knew where the shot was coming from, you couldn't move fast enough to block them all. That is, without the Force. The Force also increases a Jedi's reflexes.

I do not have a blaster, and about my statement to go into the science of blasters, I'll have to reread my post and if you are interested in my attempts to explain the subject through science, I will be glad to.

hotten2
13 March 2001, 11:48 AM
blasterbolts go as fast or as slow as u want
btw, Jedis block by instinct, the can see where they bolt will go

Krad-edis
13 March 2001, 12:12 PM
Jedi can predict where the shot goes, not necessarily the ability to see incoming shots...unless their reflexes and senses are that refined by the force to see objects or energy moving at the speed of light. As far as the multiple shot attack, the force doesn't just stop providing them with insight on the first shot, but gives them insight to where all the shots are going to be, and in order. If the power gave them the awesome ability to predict shots before they are even fired, then there is no reason why a Jedi should ever be flat-footed, right? If they could really do so (see incoming shots at the speed of light), then there is no reason why the Jedi should take any damage in combat at all. Yet, we know that doesn't always happen, as much as it would be nice for Jedi characters. Maybe you are thinking of the WEG Danger Sense, which in combination with the WOTC Deflect blasters would make a Jedi near invincible, but as far as I can see, Deflect blasters is a power that allows the Jedi (to make a reflex save...in other words they know about the attack not before, but right as it happens), and the force gives them the reflexes and the insight to move fast enough to where the blaster shots are going to be. The crack about the blaster, that was a joke....I still want one though.

tlfoust
13 March 2001, 04:38 PM
alright, you asked me if i went to blaster college, and now I'll ask you:

did you go to jedi college?

I haven't read where it says exactly that a jedi can tell where the shot will go. In every sentence that you've said that (and there have been quite a few), you give the impression that you know this for a sure-fired fact. I'm curious which book this was in, so i may read it as well.

Remo Moxey
13 March 2001, 06:21 PM
I'd say blaster bolts would be comparible to slugthrower rounds in speed. Now, before you all start jumping on my post, hear me out. We all agree that blaster blots are a mixture of light energy and gas. Now, this mixture wouldn't be slowed by gravity, but it would be by atmospheric conditions. As it moved through a breathable atmosphere the gas itself would be slowed by friction(think of a fan, the farther away you get, the less you feel the air moving). In space, it would be the lack of an atmosphere pulling the gas apart(total vacuums do that). That is why there are ranges on blasters, after a while friction(or the total vacuum) dissapates the energy.

As for the deflect blasters feat. I look at it like this- have you ever had the feeling you're being followed, or being watched? The Force acts as a amplifier to this......intuition, I'll call it. The Force also enables the user to react faster than normal. The average person (here on Earth) only uses 10% of their brain. The rest of that gray matter has to be good for something. Maybe the Force unlocks a users full potential in that area? Maybe I'm just pulling this stuff out of my rear? lol......you decide.

Krad-edis
13 March 2001, 08:19 PM
Your blue light and all that jazz was pretty neat information, and you seem to know what you are talking about tfloust. The little joke was not to take a shot at your ego, so relax man...jeeeez! It seems like you have been studying light and all sorts of laser technology to come up with such an analysis like that. Good for you, and I am always happy to hear anything anyone has to say with some conviction. Now for me. Yes, I attended JU (Jedi University) and I have a masters degree in Deflect Blasters....and deflecting counter jokes that some one said because they are too sensitive. Now if you are looking for what I said out any book (I would have given references to anything that i do cite)....well, you probably won't find it....since it is my opinion along with 6 of my friends. I respect everyone's opinion...that is why I asked for opinions. But when I want to argue my point..wouldn't it sound dumb if I kind of said "well it could be this way or that way...or I don't know"? That is my argument and anything that I hear in rebuttal of it I take into consideration, and I think that a lot of what others said was also right. Anyhow, this whole Deflect blasters deal has gotten way out of proportion, and I apologize for my part in the matter. I never intended to make anyone irritated, but then again, if you let little things like a joke (that basically could be seen as a complement, it was intended to say..wow you actually studied this sort of thing..good) upset you, then you are the one who needs to get a grip.
<small>[Edited by Krad-edis on 14 March 2001 at 01:36 AM]</small>

Krad-edis
13 March 2001, 08:38 PM
No where does it state anything in any rule book (that I know of) about what the circumstances are surrounding the "whys" of the workings of Deflect Blasters. We all know the outcomes...the bolts are deflected....enhanced reflexes, enhanced insight....cool. In re-reading my earlier post, I say (but as far as I can see....). This should give some sort of indication that it is my opinion along with my group's opinion. Look at my argument and see what kind of ideas I am presenting. I think they are pluasable...unless we all disagree on Jedi never taking damage becuase their senses are so wonderfully refined that they know where an attacker will be and what they will do, and if that doesn't work...they will be able to react faster than the speed of light to compensate. Qui-Gonn didn't compensate very well (not necessarily a deflect blasters example, but a point in that he didn't react as quickly to an attack as he may have liked too), and neither have a lot of Jedi players in the games I've played in and GM'd for. Again, see that I wasn't trying to shoot down Dark Lord Drax or irritate tfloust..I just wanted my idea heard, because I think it is valid, as does everyone who has an opinion thinks their opinion is valid.
<small>[Edited by Krad-edis on 14 March 2001 at 01:41 AM]</small>

Emperor Xanderich II
14 March 2001, 08:38 AM
I agree with Remo on blaster bolts not travelling at the speed of light. For a start, if they contain gas, then they can't travel at the speed of light. For gas has mass, and thus it would require an infinite amount of energy, which even for SW is out of the question. Relativistic physics, I know, but it is true. Horrific though it may be.:(

As for the Jedi's, seeing as though the bolt doesn't travel at the speed of light, it kind of solves that problem. What a cheat...:D

Aaron
14 March 2001, 02:18 PM
I have to add my voice to the "blaster bolts are slower than bullets" side. While they may only appear that way in the movies for the effect, its more starwarsy.

On to Deflect Blasters: considering the following dialog ...

--------------------------------------------------
QUI-GON : He can see things before they happen. That's why he appears to have such quick reflexes. It is a Jedi trait.
--------------------------------------------------

Note that this ability makes Jedi only "appear" to have quick reflexes, so Deflect Blaster-type abilities are not based on actual reflexes that we non-Jedi have. They can deflect blasters because they can see, before the shot is fired, where it will go. The speed of the shot is, in this case, irrelevant.


Aaron

Superdog
14 March 2001, 03:37 PM
The shot containing gas would be slowed down by both atomsphere and gravity. However the blaster bolt could not carry gas with it if it was light. I don't understand (I'm not kidding) how people can believe bolts travel at the speed of light. You can trace the bolt on the screen, watch it hit a guy and watch him go boom, if it was at the speed of light, the guy would be shot before your brain fully registed the shot being fired, and why would it make that noise if it was just a super flashlight? There is clear evidence in both the movies and in the real world. They cannot be moving at c! If anyone has a counter arguement for this I am interested in hearing it. One vote for bolts traveling about the same as a regular gun.

tlfoust
14 March 2001, 04:11 PM
you've got my vote, superdog

ALFRED_THE_EWOK
14 March 2001, 05:39 PM
I'll third Superdog's theory.

Krad-edis
14 March 2001, 05:49 PM
I have people saying that they are as fast as light (may be possible, but not if you take into account the gas part), or competively as fast as a typical slug thrower. But one thing that everyone does agree on is that they are definitely not slower than a typical bullet, right? I see your point about the not being able to see a light from a flash light....excellent analogy. Thanks for the example.

Wileama
14 March 2001, 07:09 PM
About this hole deflect blaster bolts thing. I have to go with Enhanced insight people. This has always been my understanding of how it worked anyway. A jedi does get hurt becuase they can be overwhelmed. You can have great insight yeah, but you can still only take so much. personaly about the actual speed, I have to say that I think the speed on screen is really more cinamatic then anything else. Personaly just about anywhere between just under speed of light and the speed of a gun works. There's really no way to tell unless goerge spouts some random speed that will actully work.

Superdog
16 March 2001, 04:25 PM
Well, If someone really wanted to they could measure pixels and frames and figure out how fast they go. I would, but i don't have the movies. If someone does they could help us out and end the craziness.

The Admiral
16 March 2001, 05:09 PM
Er, I'm still retired, but even retired people waffle in pubs about the good old days, right?

OK.

Blaster bolt:

A gaseous core energised to a plasmid stae, contained within a magnetic bottle, fashioned from a magentically active laser beam forming a cylindrical form.

Damage is caused by the intereferance of a body with the magnetic field allowing plasmid material to energetically expel it's energies using quite a lot of the mass it impacts as a source.

Logic indicate that the energetic material in the blaster bolt must be traveling at less than 0.5 c, in that the energetic particles need to travel from the rear of the bolt, to the front, then back again.

In practise though, the energetic particles of the laser based magnetic containment shell could adopt very eccentric orbits, dropping the speed of the bolt below the 0.5 (but actually a little less) theroretical upper limit down to virtually nothing, (a spherical blaster bolt)

Point being, the physics is sound, they can go from really frelling slow, to really frelling fast (0.5 c is still way beyond any human's ability to realistically dodge the actual blast, it's still WAY faster than anything we've ever fired, (Aside from Cern et al,,,)

(Er, sorry, I'm a little drunk.)
(Actually, I'm 6'5", so I'm a BIG drunk.)
(Though, unfortunately, I'm not VERY drunk.)
(But I will be soon.)
(I know you'll all be rooting for me.)
(But you ain't seen me, roight?)

Darth Fury
18 January 2003, 07:12 AM
"Well, in the movies you can actually see the blaster bolts, which means they must move relatively slow. If you go by this, then blaster bolts would definately be slower than bullets. "
:raised: I disagree with Xanderich II. I think what you see, when a blaster is fired isn't the bolt itself but the visual combustion of Tibbana and oxygen, the actual bolt itself could be in the infared or ultraviolet spectrum. The bolt could be much farther ahead, kind of like a comet's tail. So i think that blaster bolts are much faster than slugthrowers, Probably not at the speed of light but definitely around the speed of sound.:D

Emperor Xanderich II
18 January 2003, 07:23 AM
You disagree with which point I made? Surley you don't doubt my knowledge of relaivity...:? :p

A slugthrower has a muzzle velocity of nearly three times the speed of sound so, in your view, a blastermust be faster than this.

Rogue Janson
18 January 2003, 07:56 AM
Ok, the fact that in the films people and objects take damage when the visible blaster bolt hits them, not (effectively) instantaneously, indicates the damaging part of the blaster bolt travel at less than the speed of light. (Although I think the Star Wars Technical Commentaries (http://theforce.net/swtc) points out a couple of situations where this doesn't happen). On the other hand, this speed is slower than a slugthrower bullet, which would make it very hard to hit things at longer ranges.

So we have a disagreement between what we see in the films and what would make the universe logically consistent (ie. if you couldn't hit anything with them, no-one would use blasters).

Anyway, to get back to one of Krad-edis' original questions, if I had to decide for a game, I'd say blaster bolts travelled at roughly the same or a slightly faster speed than slugthrower shots. While I'm not competent to judge his physics, I like The Admiral's idea that blaster bolts could travel at different velocities (I'd imagine long ranged weapons might travel faster). If you're talking forensics, this could allow someone to determine the make or type of blaster used if they had detailed enough information on timings (obviously they'd have to be pretty damn accurate, but as GM, if you wanted it to work...).

Kobayashi_Maru
18 January 2003, 08:04 AM
I always thought they moved the same speed. The phosphorus round (which you place one every third bullet) isn't moving any slower than the other rounds it is just more intense in its light it lets off (especially against the backdrop of the night sky). That is what I imagine a blaster bolt to be like, not any slower just brighter.

That's my two yen.

Krad-edis
18 January 2003, 08:27 AM
I am surprised to see this thread brought back up again. I originally asked it roughly two years ago, so the problem was resolved long ago. I thank everyone for their insight and advice, and I have pretty much gone along with the idea that they travel around the same speed (blaster bolts and slugthrowers).....but certainly not the speed of light :)

Darth Fury
18 January 2003, 08:33 AM
Opps!! Your correct Xandriech, most rounds travel at super sonic velocities (with the execption of 45.cal and a few others) but i still say that blaster bolts are faster than bullets.

Rogue Janson
18 January 2003, 08:36 AM
Originally posted by Krad-edis
I am surprised to see this thread brought back up again. I originally asked it roughly two years ago, so the problem was resolved long ago.

You know I hadn't noticed that. I'm glad it didn't take you two years between sessions to resolve the issue.

post 21: 17 March 2001 02:09 AM
post 22: Today 04:12 PM

Darth Fury
18 January 2003, 08:40 AM
As far as Krad-edis's thoughts on being able to see the bolts giving you the ablity to dodge it more effectively, I think that this is reflected in the characters defense score and adding a bonus or check would just slow down play.

Anyway that's just my opinoin, I could be wrong!!

Wileama
18 January 2003, 10:56 AM
Wow I'm suprised to see this thread become active again. Anyway I really have to say that blaster blots travel somewhere between the speed of a bullet, and some were below the speed of light. Thats what the majority of the posts in this thread say. There isn't that much evidence that they travel slower, except for what we see in the movie. Which most everyone agreed was just movie science magic. The third edition rules rules allow characters to dodge bolts through vitality points. Now grunts don't get those vitality points. This means one of two things. Only a few hyper reflexive group can dodge blaster bolts; Or the characters are too special to kill and deserve a chance to live. The fact that characters get to add dex to their ac is because that is used to dodge out of the aim of an opponet and not the actully blot.

mojo1701
18 January 2003, 12:52 PM
If any of you have seen the TV show Andromeda, they have "blaster-type" weapons, except that you can't see the bolt streak, but you can see a discharge (kinda like when smoke explodes from a gun), and where it hits. You could introduce this idea into your campaigns.

loudanddeep
18 January 2003, 11:12 PM
I really hate to ask this, but this is a long thread, and I was not able to gleem a point or question in it....

Um, what is the question?

:raised:

Well....first of all, we can make a lot of scientific and pseudo scientifc and movie analysis....but why were you asking?

Oh, and if you want my opinion, I would say the blaster bolts depectied in the movies (I have them on dvd and laser) is about 600ft a second.

Oh, and if far enough away, you can dodge up to about 350ft a second (I used to play paintball)....

I would not get too worried about it....even the effects in the movies is inconsistant....some sloppy work here and there (sometimes the blaster effect is not timed correctly with the explosion...either early or late).
But hey, what part dont you believe....

peace,

dp

Krad-edis
19 January 2003, 12:05 AM
I really hate to ask this, but this is a long thread, and I was not able to gleem a point or question in it....

Um, what is the question?

When I started this thread, nearly two years ago, I asked the questions on the first page of this thread. If you would like to see it, and the answers which gave me answers to my questions, check back a few pages. :) My problem was given a solution....almost two years ago, and much to my surprise, this thread was once again posted on by someone who was possibly looking through the archive.


I would not get too worried about it....even the effects in the movies is inconsistant....some sloppy work here and there (sometimes the blaster effect is not timed correctly with the explosion...either early or late).
But hey, what part dont you believe....

Well, I am not too worried about it now. :) As said, the reasons are on the first or second page of this thread, but here is the meat of what I asked nearly two years ago:



My whole point of this argument is to ask basically how much of a disadvantage someone would be at if they are being sniped (the target is flat-footed) when in regards to how fast a bullet would travel as opposed to a blaster bolt. This argument could be used in determining outcome rolls, or in a forensic situation as to having the character (if they are detectives) in trying to figure out where the gunmen may have fired their shot. Air speed velocity of a weapon is important in determining things in that sense. I appreciate your answer Emperor Xanderich II, but it has even left me more of an impass.

This has long since been resolved for me. Though the first of the concerns seems a bit odd, it did come up during a game. Once again, I can say that everyone who has posted hear has been helpful. However, the posts I received in 2001 really were the ones that answered the main point of this thread (forensic standpoint). Feel free to discuss further this up until recently dead topic. Though I am pretty much set in my decision, which I cannot really take back since the ruling happened in 2001, someone else may be wondering about similar topics and this never-ending thread may help them out. :) Like I said earlier, I am really surprised to see it again pop up as "new" posts.

RoyalGuard
19 January 2003, 04:18 AM
adding to the new posts...

Blaster bolts aren't likely to be supersonic as there's no sonic boom when they're discharged (and mass being accelerated to a speed faster than the speed of sound creates a sonic boom).

Equally looking at the movies, as has been said before, everyone shot by a bolt takes damage when the visible bolt hits them.

But, the only long range weapons you see fired are the tusken rifles in TPM and Zam Wessels blaster rifle in AOTC. Now the tusken rifle is a slugthrower (you see the slug spark off of the pod) and you get a sonic boom but Wessel's gun is a rifle, and though I haven't seen AOTC in a while, watching what happens there ought to give you an idea as to how fast sniper blasts travel...

and to those who talked about 'cinematic effect' as far as I'm concerned, what you see on the screen IS Star Wars, and should be taken as what happens in the SW universe...

mojo1701
19 January 2003, 05:54 AM
Remember, that blaster bolts don't go that fast, It just seems that way. I was watching a clip from Star Wars with the blasters, and I slowed it down, to frame by frame; the blaster bolts are about on for only 1-2 frames. Now, considering that NTSC standards (if you live in Europe, you use PAL standards, [except for France, which uses SECAM, and I'm not sure of that frame rate] and PAL broadcasts at approximately 23.5 fps) are about 30 fps, that means that blaster bolts travel at about 1 or 2/30 seconds.

But, then again, maybe it's to make blasters feel that they're different than guns, so you can see the discharge, unlike bullets.

Jericho_Narcas
19 January 2003, 08:01 PM
I always figured blaster bolts moved about as fast as tracer rounds (that is -- bullets). Granted, different kinds of bullets move at different speeds -- some are supersonic, and some are sub-sonic, so you've got some wiggle-room to play with there.

Magnus_Rexif
19 January 2003, 08:31 PM
ok as far as seeing blaster bolts in the movies my group has decided to base that on the fact that the bolt of energized plasma that is fired sheds gas (both in atmo. due to friction, and in space due to vaccum)and in fact what you see is the gas that was shed as the bolt traveled through that space.
and the whole slower or as fast thing could be based on the bolo hellbore explanation i.e the bolt of energized plasma moves at a fraction of the speed of light but exceeding the speed of sound

Jim Williams
20 January 2003, 05:34 AM
Royal Guard, don't you think the loud boom noise heard when a blaster is fired could be the gas going supersonic?

mojo1701
20 January 2003, 06:37 AM
Which would explain my other theory:

Why the light streaks, is because the blaster bolt goes faster than the speed of light, therefore making the streak, and if it goes faster than the speed of sound, it makes that sonic boom, too.

Rogue Janson
20 January 2003, 08:53 AM
Even if you didn't consider the 'crack' of blaster fire to be a sonic boom, does anyone know whether gas/plasma going supersonic (as opposed to solids) actually makes a sonic boom?


Which would explain my other theory: Why the light streaks, is because the blaster bolt goes faster than the speed of light, therefore making the streak, and if it goes faster than the speed of sound, it makes that sonic boom, too.

mojo1701, do you mean "Why the light streaks is because teh blaster bolt goes faster than the speed of sound?
Otherwise I'm really confused about what you mean.

mojo1701
20 January 2003, 09:10 AM
I meant that the bolt is going faster than the light reaching your eye, like when you take one fo those sparklers on Victoria Day or Canada Day (well, all right, the 4th of July for you Americans), and light it, and you swerve it around so much, that it looks like you can write or draw with it in the air.

If you need more explanation, I will clarify, if asked.

Jericho_Narcas
20 January 2003, 09:53 AM
I don't see where all this sonic-boom stuff is coming from anyway. The blaster bolt is just a bolt of coherent light, and light doesn't make sonic booms. I know blasters use gas to generate the blaster bolt, but they don't fire it. Lasers work in much the same way.

I suppose you could consider a blaster bolt to be a plasma discharge, in which case it would be energized gas, but based on the descriptions I've read on how blasters work, I don't think that's the case.

Rogue Janson
20 January 2003, 10:52 AM
Originally posted by Mojo 1701
I meant that the bolt is going faster than the light reaching your eye, like when you take one fo those sparklers on Victoria Day or Canada Day (well, all right, the 4th of July for you Americans), and light it, and you swerve it around so much, that it looks like you can write or draw with it in the air.

Ah, what you mean is the light is bright enough to leave an imprint on your retina for a short period, so you see a trail.


Originally posted by Jericho_Narcas
I don't see where all this sonic-boom stuff is coming from anyway. The blaster bolt is just a bolt of coherent light, and light doesn't make sonic booms. I know blasters use gas to generate the blaster bolt, but they don't fire it. Lasers work in much the same way.

I suppose you could consider a blaster bolt to be a plasma discharge, in which case it would be energized gas, but based on the descriptions I've read on how blasters work, I don't think that's the case.

Some people think one way, some the other, I don't have sources here, so I can't say where they're all coming from. The question remains - if blaster bolts are made of coherent light, do they travel at the speed of light?

Jericho_Narcas
20 January 2003, 11:38 AM
Well, I'd say since you can see them coming, they're obviously not moving at C, but as to why -- I can't really say. Maybe it has something to do with they way they seem to pack more destructive energy than you'd expect from a laser -- lasers don't usually blow stuff up, they just burn holes in things. Then again, special effects have this tendency of defying scientific explanation.

I say just go with whatever works in your game.

Rogue Janson
20 January 2003, 11:44 AM
If you're wondering why blaster bolts don't travel at c and seem to pack more punch than a laser, maybe it's because they also fire some kind of gas.:D
QED.

RoyalGuard
20 January 2003, 01:18 PM
Ok, I'll watch the films again to confirm this (it's always fun), but from memory...

Blasters neither boom, nor crack (the effect is hard to describe, but sounds nothing like a sonic boom...). They obviously do not travel at c, nor could the visual effect be after-image, as the people hit by them take damage when hit by the visual effect, AND NOT BEFORE, as would be the case with energy bolts travelling at c.

As the blaster bolts do not travel at c, they cannot be coherent energy (including light). This is regardless of what may be read in the EU.

So from the films, blaster bolts are sub-sonic energy discharges. As the SW universe is so far advanced of ours, speculating about the source/composition of the bolt is useless, as our understanding of SW physics is akin to a caveman's understanding of ours...

Now in the EU, blasters use Tibanna gas to form a coherent energy bolt, which is then projected, presumably at c, but SW tech may have a way of reducing the speed somehow.

Because I like the cinematography of the films, and because it's very hard to miss a target with an instantaneous (almost) bolt, in my universe, I say that blasters use Tibanna gas, which is volatile and turns to plasma easily, and accelerate the resultant plasma bolt at the target, subsonically. I say that stun firing blasters fire a huge em-pulse, that disrupts the nervous system of a target.

Use what suits you...

mojo1701
20 January 2003, 01:23 PM
I'll betcha if this was a Star Trek question about phasers, or something, I'll betcha I could get an answer on how they work. Or, anything else in Star Trek, like transporters, or warp, whatever.

RoyalGuard
20 January 2003, 01:45 PM
That's because Star Trek is founded in 'real' science, and as a result endless science know-alls postulate again and again how such things are 'almost possible' citing tri-corders and personal comm.s

Pity they never quite explain how a heisenberg compensator works...

Anyway, rant over, the great thing about SW is that it never lets 'real science' take precedent over a good story! Come to think of it only a few Trek episodes fall foul, pity the trekkies don't seem to realise that...

Wileama
20 January 2003, 02:53 PM
Right I agree with Royal gaurd and everyone that's said that Blaster bolts don't travel at C, the evidence already provided. Now then, Star Trek science often has it's special moments. Warp 10, which is infinetly fast and requires infinite energy was some how reached, warp works off the Paramount field, and a mother load of other things. That's beside the point though. Now then as of for blaster bolts being subsonic I can't possibly argee. A blaster should sound something like lighting if you think about it. Lighting super heats the air around it, this rapid heating causes something of a super low density area, causing the high pressure air around it to smack together. This creates the massive clap we are use to seeing when a lighting bolt strikes. Now then who here doesn't think that blaster bolts are really friggin' hot? So why don't they cause atleast something like this when in atmosphere? The answer is that star wars isn't based on science. Whether your talking about space combat, starships, anything at all there is no hard evidence, some of it we know flat out to be wrong. So the blaster bolt clearly travels slower then C, and probably faster then a bullet. The only thing we can't seem to agree on is the minium speed it travels. This is it and I'm done: You can miss with instant hit weapons. point blank fire arms are for a human point blank hits. I've also played a ton of video games where weapons hit instantly. Human aim isn't perfect and so we mess up, not to mention you might not have the weapon sighted properly. Besides nothing is a true instant hit as everything takes time to hit something, even light.

mojo1701
20 January 2003, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by Royal Guard:

That's because Star Trek is founded in 'real' science, and as a result endless science know-alls postulate again and again how such things are 'almost possible' citing tri-corders and personal comm.s

Yeah, that's true, that's also why I like it. It also explains why I took physics and chemistry this year...


Also originally posted by Royal Guard:

Come to think of it only a few Trek episodes fall foul, pity the trekkies don't seem to realise that...

What episodes specifically? I know of some, but I want to know if they're the same ones you're thinking of.

Emperor Xanderich II
21 January 2003, 06:29 AM
Lets avoid this turing into a debate about ST8o

mojo1701
21 January 2003, 06:34 AM
I'm sorry, Xanderich, I didn't mean to do that :(

Hope you can forgive me :rolleyes:

Darth Fury
21 January 2003, 07:06 PM
Originally posted by Mojo 1701
I meant that the bolt is going faster than the light reaching your eye, like when you take one fo those sparklers on Victoria Day or Canada Day (well, all right, the 4th of July for you Americans), and light it, and you swerve it around so much, that it looks like you can write or draw with it in the air.

Originally posted by Rouge Janson
Ah, what you mean is the light is bright enough to leave an imprint on your retina for a short period, so you see a trail.

Originally posted by Jericho_Narcas
I don't see where all this sonic-boom stuff is coming from anyway. The blaster bolt is just a bolt of coherent light, and light doesn't make sonic booms. I know blasters use gas to generate the blaster bolt, but they don't fire it. Lasers work in much the same way.

the bolt is going faster than the light reaching your eye
the light is bright enough to leave an imprint on your retina
blaster bolt is just a bolt of coherent light

The first two statements are very true, but I have a problem with the last one. Because if you use the first two statements, and assume they are correct, then the bolt would be the length of the distance between the muzzle and the target(much like a phaser in ST. I know, I know, please don't turn this into a debate over which flavor of Sci-Fi is better!!!!)8o
However I still think that a blaster bolt, while not as fast as the speed of light, is definitely faster than the speed of sound! And that is the way I intend to use it in my game!!! :p

Wileama
21 January 2003, 08:45 PM
Okay I swear this is the last time I'm posting in this thread. Cannon material The essentail guide to weapons and technology. The book says that a blaster bolt is excited gass coupled with light, a harmless byproduct. Essential the blaster is spitting out plasma (http://www.ncpst.ie/plasma) that's making light.

Now then unless some one is going to pull out E=MC^2, the proper coffient to use it. The joule density of an average plasma, an estimated of the amount of joules put out by a blaster, and the college level physics and math to use it your not going to get a very good answer. Even then it will be little more then an educated guess. So what can you get?

blaster bolts travel faster then bullets [around 347 miles an hour I believe] but probably slower then light. [Reasonable guess is .001 c which is 3000000 miles a second]

StClair
21 January 2003, 10:44 PM
Enh. Rather than get into a long argument about physics or what a blaster bolt is made of (which really isn't Star Wars), I'm in agreement with those few people who said that we should go by what's really on the screen. (Did anyone ever actually sit down and time this and get an estimate?)

And that's definitely not as fast as a bullet, even accounting for the greater length of the bolt. But it IS too fast for anyone but a Jedi (who not only has his movements sped up by the Force, but can see slightly into the future) or an experienced gunman (who has well-trained, though not superhuman, reflexes and a certain amount of intuition as to where and when others will fire) to dodge.

RoyalGuard
22 January 2003, 08:28 AM
Wileama in every debate of this kind I've entered, essential guides, incredible cross-sections and technical manuals are barely considered canon. Largely because they normally contradict EU sources, as in this instance (numerous EU books refer to coherent energy blasts - not plasma, which is something far different)...

Equally your bold statement supplied no logical argument for bolts travelling at any speed...

mojo1701
22 January 2003, 01:26 PM
Yeah, I agree with StClair. We should stop this. The only reason we can see the blaster bolts is to give Star Wars this non-Earth feel. How fun would it be to prance around with blasters when you can't see the ammo flying? That seems a little too real.

That's why in both Star Wars and Star Trek have blasters (or phasers) where you can [U]see[U] what leaves the weapon, and make it look like a laser. People like to see that, if it's a weapon, they want to see that it's not a gun, so they make it seem futuristic.


......



If you need clarification, I don't blame ya. I'll try to explain better if you ask for it.

Rogue Janson
22 January 2003, 02:13 PM
Like I said before, we've got a conflict between the films, other sources and the laws of physics. In this situation the correct thing to do is to stop arguing and go with whatever you think is best, which for me is: blaster bolts faster or a similar speed to bullets (thereforce useful over long range), but slower than the speed of light (therefore visible, cool etc.).

Krad-edis
22 January 2003, 04:53 PM
Yeah, I agree with StClair. We should stop this. The only reason we can see the blaster bolts is to give Star Wars this non-Earth feel. How fun would it be to prance around with blasters when you can't see the ammo flying? That seems a little too real.


Like I said before, we've got a conflict between the films, other sources and the laws of physics. In this situation the correct thing to do is to stop arguing and go with whatever you think is best,

Both, very well put. There really is no sense in any further debate. This post has gone in circles with everyone bringing up really good points...unfortunately, they can all hold up against fictional Star Wars technology. It isn't about right or wrong, but personal opinion. Unless GL answers this post, we will probably never know.

Dallas
1 May 2004, 08:54 AM
i agree with Superdog

Dallas
1 May 2004, 08:54 AM
i agree with Superdog

Rogue Janson
1 May 2004, 09:45 AM
Dallas, do you realise this thread was started three years ago and hasn't been posted in for over a year?
It's not serious, but bringing up an old thread just to agree with someone who hasn't posted for almost a year is ... a bit pointless.

JediJester
1 May 2004, 03:41 PM
Has anyone ever tried to measure the speed of blaster bolts in the movies? Use people to figure out relative height/distance and count how many frames it takes for the blaster bolt to leave the barrel of the gun and strike its target. Use the height of the people to approximate the distance and the number of frames divided by 24 will give you the number of seconds it takes for it to travel that distance.

Rogue Janson
2 May 2004, 02:11 AM
I'm pretty certain it's done on the tech commentaries site. But that site also claims that the shots cause damage before the visible bolts hit.