Phased plasma gun

Phased plasma gun

The Phased Plasma Gun (or PPG) is a fictional weapon from the television series "Babylon 5". It fires a small charge of superheated helium. This gas retains both its shape and small volume via a residual magnetic field. Upon impact with an object, the magnetic field is dissipated and the heat discharged. PPG bolts cause significant visible distortion as they travel through air.

The PPG is composed only of highly heat-resistant alloys, due to the rapid and extreme heating and cooling that it must endure during regular use. One of these alloys is morbidium. A line in the Babylon 5 episode "Chrysalis" states that it is a metal that is harder than diamond. The electromagnetic firing coil is composed of morbidium, and has the gun's serial number printed on it, so that PPGs are just as traceable as modern guns.

Even though PPGs are more expensive to produce than normal projectile weapons ("slug-throwers"), they are the standard-issue military sidearm for space-based personnel. [In the episode Grey 17 Is Missing (Season 3 Episode 19) Garibaldi states that projectile weapons are only used back on Earth "since EarthForce went to all PPGs for sidearms."] While a stray bullet from a normal weapon can puncture the hull of a spacecraft or space station, causing unintended decompression, a PPG cannot penetrate most heavy bulkheads. A PPG shot may, however, burn through some materials. In several episodes, PPG shots were fired through the thin walls of air ducts in order to attack people inside.

In earlier episodes, where few shots were fired, plasma bursts were carefully generated and penetrated their targets. Later in the B5 series, when massive battles were staged, a shift into a lower qualityfact|date=September 2007 CGI followed and the bursts tended to fade off as opposed to continuing through its target.

imilar weapons in other fiction

In the film "The Terminator", the character played by Arnold Schwarzenegger goes to a gun shop in present-day LA and requests a "...phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range," a weapon from his own time which can be seen being used by resistance fighters and terminators alike during the film's scenes of post "Judgment Day" conflict. A larger vehicle mounted version of this weapon appeared to have the power to violently rip a human body into several charred pieces upon impact.

In "Aliens", another Cameron film, "phased plasma pulse rifle" is a weapon that the excitable Private William Hudson (Played by Bill Paxton), jokingly informs Ripley is part of the Marines arsenal (along with knives and sharp sticks). The scene takes place aboard the marine dropship and was omitted from the original version released to theaters. It can been seen in the film's Special Edition, which was first released in 1992 and then later in subsequent DVD box sets.


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