Hot answers tagged

20

The phaser you've pictured is a reversed version of the "Cobra-Head" Type-2 phasers used in Season 3 of TNG onwards. As you can see from this authentic TV prop (previously owned by Rick Sternbach, Senior Illustrator for Star Trek: TNG; who created the design) which was auctioned for slightly over £3000, the hand-grip was originally configured for a right-...


19

The simplest answer is that for the majority of engagements, type-3 phaser rifles simply aren't needed, nor do they fit in with the Federation's philosophy of trying to project a non-military demeanour. Whilst there do seem to be some positive benefits over the type-2 hand phaser (including a larger battery, 'bolt' setting and gyro stabilisation) they ...


19

You seem to be looking for a Real Physics™ explanation for what phasers seem to do, but I doubt that there is one. If phasers "vaporized" a victim by heating them until their solid and liquid components became a gas, you'd get a great big explosion because high temperatures + low local pressure = large volume. But that's not what we see as a result ...


16

Yes, absolutely you can. In the episode TNG: Samaritan Snare, the Pakled take Geordi's phaser from him and replicate several more. Quoting from the screenplay REGINOD: (re: the phaser) We can make more. Geordi reacts, realizing: GEORDI: You have a replicator? GREBNEDLOG: (with pride) It is not broken. GEORDI: I didn't come here to give you weapons. ...


15

Apparently not. As they are using their right hands in this scene here. On the DS9 Phaser rifles, the black sections similar to these are actually the replaceable power packs (think of them as Ammo Magazines) But that may not be the case on the Type IIs


14

It is specifically mentioned in "Chimera" that metal weapons (in this case a dagger) cannot hurt a changeling. From this it is easy to deduce that other weapons CAN hurt a changeling. Considering how a phaser works (it fires "nadion particles"), the weapon most likely has an effect on what it hits quite different from the effects of a bullet or other non-...


12

Phasers are not meant for anticipated combat. They are personal defense devices for away missions. As such, they don't need to be super accurate. There are two raised bumps on the phaser just past the indicator light. Based on the way we see people firing these, you point it at arms length and perhaps aim with those two ridges. Based on these images, ...


12

In episode 10 of the first season, "The Corbomite Maneuver", Enterprise destroys a warning buoy after it begins emitting dangerous levels of radiation.


11

It was a reasonably high setting. The reason it evaporated the wall is because it was set to 'wide beam' which evidently disperses the wall's material instead of cutting it or exploding it. You can see the direction a bit more clearly in the original screenplay SISKO: But what's behind the wall? He takes out his phaser, adjusts the setting and ...


10

There was a "Writer's Technical Manual" given to the writers for Star Trek: The Next Generation, written by the show's technical consultants Rick Sternbach and Mike Okuda, which was later expanded into a published book called Star Trek The Next Generation: Technical Manual (also written by Sternbach and Okuda). The original version for the writers is a ...


10

Mirror Universe Odo is speculated to have indeed died during the uprising, killed by our Julian Bashir using a Bajoran phaser. He appears to be shattered by the phaser. At least one Klingon confirms Odo's death. Such a shattering would not normally have been thought to harm a changeling since our universe's Odo was able to recover from being dropped and ...


10

I think this is probably going to end up being opinion-based, since it's really a technological question about technology that doesn't exist, but I can offer a little perspective as a computer security AND a gun guy. Stuff like this comes up with proposed gun regulation and with military tech, and it's referred to broadly as IFF - Identification, Friend or ...


10

Yes, we see it done (or attempted) a bunch of times in each of the various series. I've selected an example from each: Enterprise In Ent: United, Tucker sets a phase pistol to overload inside a wall panel. It causes substantial damage. DS9 IN DS9: Empok Nor, O'Brien uses his combadge to signal a phaser to overload. It explodes and causes a substantial ...


9

TL;DR : The Type II phaser has 16 settings, the highest of which will vaporize most materials. The Type II phaser carried by Starfleet personnel during the Dominion War era has a total of 16 settings, with each setting being a combination of intensity & spread. Some example settings are: Level 1 - lowest setting, can stun most humanoids or heat up ...


9

Yes, but it depends. To understand the "it depends" we have to discuss how the transporter works. According to the Starfleet Technical Manual, during beam up the subject is put into an "annular confinement beam" which begins at the moment the "transporter special effect" starts. This confinement beam is supposed to hold the subject immobile while the ship ...


8

Addressing "How does a phaser change from Stun to Kill?" The Star Trek the Next Generation Technical (isbn 0-671-70427-3) Manual covers the power settings. The differences in the settings are based on power output and duration, as well as SEM (Simple Electro-Magnetic) and NDF Nuclear Disruption Force ratios. I don't want to quote the whole article (...


7

Within the TV series, we see that the Type-2 ("dustbuster") phaser is basically a line-of-sight device. You wave it in the direction that you intent to shoot, press the button and the phaser beam emits in a straight line until it hits the target. The Star Trek: Voyager Technical Manual explicitly states that there is no computerised targetting on the ...


7

Wherever the beam goes Concerning specifically the "hand vacuum" style which was popular around Picard's time, and not the more pistol or rifle stock variants, we should remember that phasers have one specific advantage for aiming over your standard bullet tosser: They are beam weapons. This means that unlike firing a bullet at a target and you have no ...


7

Fairly certain any answer is going to be speculative, that being said. The best in universe explanation I can think of is every time they encounter the Borg someone says a line like "program phasers to fire on a random modulation" This allows them to get a couple of kill shots in before the Borg adapt to the "randomness" Of course the more I think about ...


6

It's not really made that clear. It seems that those who've been trained on phaser operations have been told how to access the additional features. The TNG Technical Manual has some additional info but no real answers. There's also some info on how to cause an explosion (basically, by dickering with the safety interlock). As a result of the basic physics ...


6

Yes. That's why they have phaser coolant: to stop overheat from happening. In the TOS episode Balance of Terror, there's a leak in the phaser coolant with disastrous consequences. Slightly less canonically, according to the novel Vendetta, every time the phaser is fired at level sixteen, there is an automatic six-second cool-down period, otherwise the ...


6

At least regarding the Original Series, you can find some details here on how they did the effects, and how much the results varied: A comparatively simple special effect to accomplish during production of The Original Series was that of phaser fire; which relied upon animation. As explained by Stephen Whitfield in “The Making Of Star Trek” (Ballantine ...


6

Staying with the non-militaristic theme of Star Trek; The hand phaser is seen more as personal protection/defensive style weapon, not an offensive weapon, though it can be made to serve that purpose at need. Hand phasers are also far less bulky and threatening but pack enough punch to take care of most situations. Phaser rifles on the otherhand present a ...


5

In a word, yes. On 'away missions' the Type 1 and Type 2 (handheld) phaser are merely a point 'n' shoot device. When they're tied into the ship's sensors, however (and typically when they're on board the ship) they're a slightly smarter piece of kit, capable of being automatically limited to stun and with the beam targeted by the ship. Voyager Technical ...


4

There is a difference in the power settings available in different models of phasers. The STUN settings (of various levels) are supposed to disable the target without causing any serious damage. The KILL settings don't necessarily kill all targets, they just cause varying amounts of damage (I think Beverly Crusher once shot an alien in the chest on a high ...


4

An overloaded phaser isn't enough to blow up a starship. In the TOS episode "That Which Survives" Kirk's phaser overloaded on Losira's planet and he just lobbed it away like a grenade and hugged the ground behind cover until it exploded. But note that this was in the open air. A detonation inside a ship, where the bulkheads and corridors would confine and ...


4

Hand-held phasers are personal weapons that, like those on our times, can come in different sizes with different features and usages. Phaser rifles are not featured only in Voyager, but in other series too. A broad classification of Starfleet hand-held phaser weapons is as follows: Type 1 A type-1 phaser was the smallest, most basic weapon carried by ...


3

The details of how this works are obviously not very clear. However, there is at least one instance where the disintegration effect was very clearly limited to the object that it struck. Observe what happens in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when Lieutenant Valeris shoots a massive cooking pot. The metal pot ...


3

Most probably yes The Memory Alpha page on replicators explains that replicator technology uses: transporter technology to dematerialize quantities of matter and then rematerialize that matter in another form Hence, I don't see any reason why a fully-operational phaser couldn't be replicated. I doubt that it would be replicated charged though; I expect ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible