Phaser time on target central to damage?

Trek Books, Games and General chat

Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby sunnyside » Mon May 30, 2011 9:37 pm

We know there are different settings for Phasers/disrupters and they seem to do different things.

However I wonder if the disintigrate settings might require a certain amount of time on target in order to work right. It certainly seems like disintigrating blasts seem to require the shooter to keep the trigger down (while they and the target strike dramatic poses).

Could it be that a "disintigrate" shot that only wings someone has something like stun/wound/kill effects?
User avatar
sunnyside
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 2431
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Mon May 30, 2011 11:02 pm

The one case that springs to mind is when Captain Tracey shot his phaser at a piece of equipment Spock was using. Not sure if it was on disintegrate or not but it was a kill level shot that just missed and left him "in need of attention". Didn't do any visible damage, but Spock was up and about, and Bones was still saying that he needed treatment soon.

The way I would expect it to work is that the time on target affects the amount of material affected rather than the effect itself.

That is to say, if a normal 0.5 second burst is enough to disintegrate a person, then a 0.05 might just disintegrate a big hole in his chest, and a 0.0005 might disintegrate a little chunk of skin. I would not think that a little brief blast from a disintegrate setting would cause a burn, or a stun.

But that's just my expectation.
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...
User avatar
Graham Kennedy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8280
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Banbury, UK

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby Mikey » Tue May 31, 2011 4:35 am

One would think so, but like so many other issues there is conflicting evidence. The most notable I can think of offhand is ENT: "In a Mirror, Darkly part I." When Archer shot black with the TOS-era phaser, not only did it require NO time on target, but the disintegration effect seemed to propagate like a quicker version of the Varon-T disrupter featured in TNG: "The Most Toys."
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33172
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby alexmann » Tue May 31, 2011 10:32 am

To be honest though, Enterprise was rubbish with continuity.
ImageImage
User avatar
alexmann
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
 
Posts: 912
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: I'm in your mind!

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Tue May 31, 2011 10:40 am

Phsers and disrupters often do that. Look at Terrell in ST II, or Yuta in The Vengeance Factor, or the weapons guy on the Klingon ship in ST II. I tend to write. Even the City on the Edge of Forever tramp faded out quite slowly when he messed with the phaser.
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...
User avatar
Graham Kennedy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8280
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Banbury, UK

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby alexmann » Tue May 31, 2011 10:55 am

Terrell shot himself and faded almost instantly. At least it was a quick death.
ImageImage
User avatar
alexmann
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander
 
Posts: 912
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:52 pm
Location: I'm in your mind!

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby Graham Kennedy » Tue May 31, 2011 11:11 am

It was quick compared to a Varon-T disrupter, but it wasn't at all instant. It showed a similar effect of the disintegration crawling across the body, look :

Image

Image
Give a man a fire, and you keep him warm for a day. SET a man on fire, and you will keep him warm for the rest of his life...
User avatar
Graham Kennedy
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8280
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 1:28 pm
Location: Banbury, UK

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby Mikey » Tue May 31, 2011 11:17 am

alexmann wrote:To be honest though, Enterprise was rubbish with continuity.


Indeed, but unfortunately what's onscreen in ANY franchise - even the bad ones - is still canon.

GrahamKennedy wrote:Phsers and disrupters often do that. Look at Terrell in ST II, or Yuta in The Vengeance Factor, or the weapons guy on the Klingon ship in ST II. I tend to write. Even the City on the Edge of Forever tramp faded out quite slowly when he messed with the phaser.


Indeed, as I said the ENT example is just one that came quickly to mind. There are probably more that exist than even you mentioned. There are also many instances of heating rocks, etc., which indicate that time on target IS an important factor. Unfortunately, it muddies the issue terribly to begin talking about a difference between the action of the phaser from organic to inorganic targets.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33172
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby sunnyside » Tue May 31, 2011 4:49 pm

Interesting. Though I'd like to point out that "time on target" and "time of death" are different things.

i.e. in .5 seconds you might be loaded with more than enough nadions to ensure your disintigration, but the reaction may take a while to complete.

However a .005 second hit may not. I could see there being some kind of threshold that needs to be reached for a given continuous mass (since the weapons act on continous masses as opposed to points).

Actually I'm starting to want to think of a phaser hit as injecting nadions in a similar manner to if you were injecting an acid. i.e. it would spread throughout a system and start doing damage. If enough is present (chemical) disintigration occurs, starting at the point of injection, as it would have experienced the highest dose and would have experienced it first, and then spreading outward. If the dose is insufficient there would be widespread systemic damage, but no disintigration, or localized disintigration. And higher doses would be needed for larger systems.
User avatar
sunnyside
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 2431
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby Mikey » Tue May 31, 2011 7:18 pm

Actually, a lower dosage of acid would prevent its own propagation as it would cauterize the area of effect.

*EDIT* Sorry, there was supposed to be more to this than that. We've seen phasers have significant thermal effects. Wouldn't burn damage balance the propagation of the magical quantum damage? I don't see necrotic tissue transmitting the technobabble effect of the phasers too well.
"We've been over this. We don't shoot first and ask questions later."
"Of course! We never ask questions."
User avatar
Mikey
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
 
Posts: 33172
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:04 am
Location: down the shore, New Jersey, USA

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby Captain Seafort » Tue May 31, 2011 7:38 pm

Mikey wrote:We've seen phasers have significant thermal effects.


Eh. We've seen them used to heat rocks. I'm reluctant to ascribe that to direct heating from the beam due to the distinct lack of thermal effects when they're used at higher settings.

Regarding the OP, since we know that phasers operate through a chain reaction rather than DET, it's possible that a certain time on target is required to initiate the reaction, and below that threshold there would be little or no damage, even on high settings.
Only two things are infinite - the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe: Albert Einstein.

Across the Universe - Chapter 2 now up
User avatar
Captain Seafort
4 Star Admiral
4 Star Admiral
 
Posts: 15015
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:44 pm
Location: Blighty

Re: Phaser time on target central to damage?

Postby sunnyside » Tue May 31, 2011 9:15 pm

Mikey wrote:Actually, a lower dosage of acid would prevent its own propagation as it would cauterize the area of effect.

*EDIT* Sorry, there was supposed to be more to this than that. We've seen phasers have significant thermal effects. Wouldn't burn damage balance the propagation of the magical quantum damage? I don't see necrotic tissue transmitting the technobabble effect of the phasers too well.


The acid thing depends on how fast the acid acts compared to have fast blood takes it through the body. I believe some will spread quite well before they start to kill you. Though I could be cofusing that with acids that only destroy certain bits of you like bone so they don't mess up your circulatory system much while they blobify you.

Nadions are supposed to be zipping around at the speed of light. So, if they're bouncing around inside you via something like total internal reflection at the air interface like light can they might get pretty far before slamming into the nucleous of an atom or otherwise interacting and doing whatever it is they do.

Captain Seafort wrote:Regarding the OP, since we know that phasers operate through a chain reaction rather than DET, it's possible that a certain time on target is required to initiate the reaction, and below that threshold there would be little or no damage, even on high settings.


I suppose it is true that, in general, chain reactions have a threshold involved.
User avatar
sunnyside
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 2431
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2007 4:35 pm


Return to Books / Games / General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest