Posted: 2/27/2001 9:54:08 AM EDT
FYI : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=001851641145319&rtmo=aCq5hWuJ&atmo=99999999&pg=/et/01/2/27/wgun27.html
US scientists take aim with fastest gun in
By Robert Uhlig, Technology Correspondent
Sandia Z accelerator
- Sandia National
A GUN that fires coin-size pellets 10 times faster than a bullet has been
developed in America.
The Z accelerator could fire a pellet from London to Edinburgh in 26
seconds, or from London to New York in four and a half minutes. It is
outpaced only by a nuclear explosion.
It has been nicknamed the "fastest gun in the West". Marcus Knudson, who
led the project to develop the Z accelerator at Sandia, an American nuclear
laboratory, said that description was an understatement. "It's the fastest gun in
The aluminium plates it fires move so fast that the air resistance turns them to
liquid, heating them to 2,700C, and forcing Dr Knudson to look at other
materials, such as titanium and copper.
It has been used only to examine the effect of high-velocity projectile impacts
over a distance of a few feet, but the technology is being considered as an
alternative to launching spacecraft. A more mobile version could be a "hyper
velocity" weapon, piercing thicker armour than any used in battle, Dr
The accelerator's vacuum chamber is the most powerful producer of electrical
discharge on Earth. It uses 20,000 amps to develop a magnetic field that
accelerates pellets up to 45,000 mph in 200 billionths of a second, three times
faster than the speed needed to escape Earth's gravitational pull.
Dr Knudson is using data from the accelerator to simulate the effect of space
junk colliding with a satellite or space station travelling in the opposite
direction. This will help scientists to balance lightness with strength in satellite
and observatory shells. It is also being used to find out how materials react to
high pressures and temperatures.
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Cool...ERASER!!!! I want my railgun NOW!!!
When can I get one?!?!?!?[:P]
Now that would be a true army of one.....do you think this gun is what the army is looking for?
Why don't fire something (if it's a weapon they want in the railgun) that won't melt, like a man made saphire.
Ammo don`t sound cheap.
I like the idea of molten metal coming out the end. Try and remove that easily!
Ammo won't cost that much, they are just using a chunk of aliminum, maybe titatium or ceramic/metallic composite in the future. The primary cost will be a portable power source. The energy requirements are enormous right now, but like with computers, what once used to fill a warehouse in the 50's now fits on your wrist and is 10 times more powerful. Railguns don't have barrels that wear out. The projectile is levitated and propelled within a series of circular magnets. Just like a bullet train, there is no physical contact between the magnets and metal. No friction = immense speed!
20,000 Amps? A KABOOM would blow YOU into particals!!
I believe this is a refinement of technology that's been around since the early 1960's. In fact, it was originally used during research of space based anti-satellite weapons. Of course, they've come a long way since 1964.