Raygun

From Academic Kids

This article is about the weapon. For the US president, see Ronald Reagan.

A raygun is a weapon (mostly or entirely science fiction) that fires a ray or beam of energy that can kill or injure or stun. For various real-world attempts at designing such a weapon, see death ray.

Before modern technology developed, many mythologies described gods or demons using weapons that make lightning, such as Jupiter's and Zeus's thunderbolt, Thor's hammer Mjolnir, and the Hindu god Indra's spear (the vajrā).

Science fiction as far back as the 1920s had emphasized death rays as the weapons of choice. As the laser, invented in 1960, became industrial reality in the 1960s, the generic fictional death rays were often renamed lasers. By the late 1960s and 1970s however, the laser's limits as a weapon were evident, and less specific terms such as "phaser" (see Star Trek) or "blaster" (see Star Wars) were used. In some science fiction, some rayguns have a firing mode that can stun its target instead of killing. Rayguns (in this case called "Death Rays") are also famously used by the Daleks in the long-running BBC sci-fi sieries, Doctor Who. Sometimes in science fiction stories, rayguns are used for metal cutting like blowtorches.

Some weapons which could be possibly classified as rayguns have been made in the real world:-

  • Lasers designed to dazzle.
  • Underwater ultrasound guns.
  • See electroshock gun.
  • See Directed Energy Weapons and non-lethal weapon.
  • An imitation shotgun which fires a low-powered laser at a target which is covered with reflective corners designed to send the beam back where it came from to be detected by a detector on the gun. This is used only for target practice without expending amunition, where it has the disadvantage (for a shotgun user) that the beam travels instantaneously and straight without teaching the gun user to allow for the effects of wind and the target moving while the shot travels.
  • A very high-powered microwave beam is a possibility.

ja:光線銃

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