On shields and their theories.

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sun1404
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On shields and their theories.

Post by sun1404 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 11:32 am

Just instantly got this question in my mind: How can an invisible shield blocks a laser beam?

As lasers are basically lights with extremely high frequency and energy, how can shields in Transcendence, and in fact, a whole lot of other games, block beams of lasers, when the shields are invisible or transparent? I'm not surprised if a shield could block a mega-huge-invincible-chunk-of-alloy flying at five times light speed, but how can something that let light through block a beam of intense light? That's just paradoxical.

ps. Ooh. Paradoxical is actually a word. I thought I just made it up. :)
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by pixelfck » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:55 pm

I'll bite :)

The thing with shields is... they are bullshit scientifically not possible.

Shields, deflectors, shield bubbles (and whatever else fancy name they go by) are a common topic on sci-fi discussions. I've read all types of exotic theories (and invented some myself) but it always comes down to: scientifically not possible. It takes quite a lot of handwavium to invent some sort of defensive field that blocks either matter or waves. Having one device protect against both takes excessive amounts of unobtainium.

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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by FourFire » Thu Oct 31, 2013 7:32 pm

Because what proper energy shields would actually look like: impenetrable spheres of black nothing doesn't look as cool as shiny needlessly aerodynamic rockets reminiscent of WWII WMDs flying through space on the cover of pulp 'scifi' comic book covers.
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by Atarlost » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:33 am

Realistically there would be no energy shields at all. About the only things that can realistically be deflected are charged particles and charged or electrically conductive dust.

But if you have space magic there's no reason you can't produce a shield opaque to UV and x-rays and gamma rays. It would be extremely difficult if not impossible to build a practical laser weapon in the visible light range.
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by sun1404 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:27 pm

Please, don't get me hooked on those types of websites again. Took away hours of my time. They're like nuclear chain reaction. You open one page, you need to open three more. :D

About the shields, From what I know and from what the sites say, they're actually possible, but may not be feasible or worth the price they cost. But my real question is, how can you block light beams with something transparent? Except if the shield phases/switch on/darken to intercept the beams, still it shouldn't be possible to collect information and process it in the time from the beam's emission to the interception.
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by Vachtra » Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:04 pm

I have to agree with Atarlost here. You probably are not trying to block a visible light laser but a higher frequency laser not visible to the human eye. Just because it's transparent for one wave length doesn't mean it is for all.
Just think of it like colored glass. It's colored because not all visible wavelengths pass through it the same way. Some are blocked.

edit: The only reason we see the lasers is to verify in our mind that something happened. Just imagine how boring it would look if you couldn't see any of the lasers in starwars...
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by sun1404 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 4:25 pm

Well then, that does explain the question, and give the matter some possibility. I still feel like there's another catch somewhere, but I don't really know what it is. Will ask again if I remember. :D
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by Wolfy » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:30 am

Well, the very fact you can see the lasers at all is a sci-fi trope. Relativistically speaking, you wouldn't see them until after they arrived. Traveling at the speed of light and all.

Furthermore, lasers are surprisingly easy to defeat with a cloud of particulate to absorb and scatter the energy. In fact, a cloud does just to visible light lasers. Just remember to make sure your cloud can block the correct wavelength. (There is a reason why you should still put on sunblock in cloudy daytime weather!)
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by Atarlost » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:48 pm

Wolfy wrote:Well, the very fact you can see the lasers at all is a sci-fi trope. Relativistically speaking, you wouldn't see them until after they arrived. Traveling at the speed of light and all.

Furthermore, lasers are surprisingly easy to defeat with a cloud of particulate to absorb and scatter the energy. In fact, a cloud does just to visible light lasers. Just remember to make sure your cloud can block the correct wavelength. (There is a reason why you should still put on sunblock in cloudy daytime weather!)
A cloud of liquid will near instantly boil or freeze because the surface area of the droplets is very high. It will then be a cloud of gas or a cloud of particulates.

A cloud of gas will disperse rapidly in a vacuum. You'd need to know when and where the shot was going to come to get gas in the way before it dispersed and it takes a lot of gas to block anything. Even vacuum frequencies will go through meters of atmosphere.

A cloud of particulates isn't particularly opaque and anything caught by the leading edge of the beam will quickly cease to exist as a particulate.

You can use smoke to block some lasers if you're already in an atmosphere, but in space you're out of luck.
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Re: On shields and their theories.

Post by MaxCPP » Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:35 pm

Wolfy wrote:Well, the very fact you can see the lasers at all is a sci-fi trope. Relativistically speaking, you wouldn't see them until after they arrived. Traveling at the speed of light and all.
I never thought about sci-fi lasers as about lasers, it's more like some beams of energy. But in game, we have "relativistic" speeds so laser beams travels at speed of light actually. But you can't see laser beams in space! And there is no sound in space. It could be some computer software that generates space sounds and detects laser beams so it become possible to evade them.

About shields, deflectors and other such things: i don't think that shield against everything can exist in such civilization that can't travel faster that light with it's own tech. I think billions years of science development must pass to make such nearly impossible thing. Moving interior in another dimention could work for example.

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