Ten Scary Sci Fi Weapons That Could Theoretically Exist
In September 2013, scientists from Harvard and MIT found a way to manipulate photons-particles that normally don't interact with each other-into a photonic molecule. They say that the closest example of what this new process creates is-you guessed it-a lightsaber! To do this, the scientists pushed rubidium atoms into a vacuum chamber and allowed lasers to cool them at near-absolute zero. This caused the photon to move into and through the cloud, passing energy to the atoms. One of the scientists claims that this process may one day be used to create 3D crystalline structures out of light alone. Granted, the science isn't quite ready to create an arm-chopping, light-beam weapon just yet, but it does prove that such technology is at least theoretically possible.
#9. Cyborgs Robocop
Cyborgs have been a terrifying feature of science fiction for as long as the genre has been around. But is it actually possible to create a "bionic man" with today's technology? Modern technology has already created bionic eyes and hearing aids. This Vanderbilt-developed lower limb exoskeleton works via force mechanisms at the hip and knee joints. This exoskeleton was tested on a paraplegic patient, with positive results. The subject could walk at an average speed of 0.8 kilometers (0.5 mi) per hour with the assistance of parallel beams for support.
#8. Fusion Reactor Marvel Universe
The idea of harnessing a super-powered energy source in a small, contained space isn't impossible with today's knowledge. The fusion reactor from Spider-Man's world may not be real, but the idea behind it is based on real-life science. The fusion process involves bringing the two atomic nuclei so close to each other that they fuse together, but it requires temperatures of around 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million 'F). In addition to the temperature, the process creates a highly electric plasma that must be contained in a magnetic field cage. However, containing the reaction and stabilizing it enough to attract metallic items from a distance is another matter.
#7. Teleportation Device Star Trek
"Beam me up, Scotty" may be the coolest catchphrase in the world of science fiction, and the teleportation device that allowed Captain Kirk to utter the words is one of the coolest sci-fi devices. The question remains as to whether teleportation is a possibility. The answer is a resounding "maybe." According to an essay published in Science, scientists from Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland and the University of Michigan have been able to explore the feasibility of teleportation. To accomplish this task, they placed two ions in a vacuum surrounded by electric fields. In a sense, this allows information to be "teleported" between them. The next logical step for the JQI team is to improve the precision of the photons and create a quicker, more efficient communication between them.
#6. Time Machine H.G. Wells
Albert Einstein was able to show that time is essentially elastic and capable of stretching or shrinking with motion. Time travel should actually be possible, considering that time can be accelerated by increasing speed. In addition, Einstein claimed that gravity is a factor of time as well. So, with time travel being theoretically possible, how about a time machine? A time machine has been said to work by bending the space-time continuum so that time lines loop back on themselves to form a "closed time-like curve." There is research to suggest that a time machine could run without such exotic matter. This would require creating a vacuum of normal matter to shift through, allowing the space-time continuum to bend in on itself. Being able to master this science and build a proper time-traveling device would take a lot of trial and error, research, and luck. If a time machine were to exist in the future, it could be more disastrous than any weapon in our arsenal.
#5. EMP Blast The Matrix
You might remember electromagnetic pulse (EMP) being used in The Matrix to stop the Machines and to bring down hovercraft. The idea of a weapon that can disable all electronic devices sounds like a terrifying creation of science fiction, but EMP does exist in real life, and it's even more terrifying than we can imagine. A moderate EMP blast would destroy any nearby electronic devices. Even some smaller microwave EMP weapons could theoretically disable local banks, alarm and security systems, and institutions like the stock exchange. It's a terrifying prospect to consider, and not even Keanu Reeves could save us if EMP weapons become commonplace.
#4. Neuralyzer Men In Black
The neuralyzer from Men in Black is quite possibly one of the coolest sci-fi weapons. Not much bigger than a pen and able to fit in a jacket pocket, the nerualyzer is capable of wiping a human memory for as long as the user intends-just by using a flash of light. New York researchers have created a new experimental drug capable of blocking PKMzeta-a substance the brain needs to retain most learned information. The research is in its infant stage, and the drug has only been tested on lab rats. However, the scientists are quite confident that the same memory editing technique could be successfully applied to humans. While it will most likely be used to treat dementia and other illnesses, we can't entirely rule out its use as a building block for real-life weaponized neuralyzer in the distant future.
#3. Raygun Flash Gordon
A raygun, or "death ray," is a handheld weapon capable of shooting deadly particle beams. One of the first attempts to create a concentrated death ray was made by Nikola Tesla. His idea was to create a vacuum seal, then push a stream of air at a high velocity through the gun, creating so-called "high vacua." The resulting particle beam could be projected in a straight line for up to 320 kilometers (200 mi). In more recent news, a man was able to use an old TV screen to construct a concentrated "death ray" that reaches 1,090 degrees Celsius (2,000 'F) and is capable of burning through metal.
#2. Doomsday Machine Doctor Srangelove
Doomsday machines have been terrifying the general public since the sci-fi genre was invented. However, the plot of Dr. Strangelove-where the Soviets blow up the world-may not have been entirely fictional. In 1984, the Soviet Union did in fact build a doomsday machine called "Perimeter." It has been estimated that launching these missiles would have killed over 100 million people. Perimeter is still active, and nobody seems to want to bring it up. Whether a doomsday machine" like Russia's Perimeter exists elsewhere in the world is a mystery, but there's no way to definitively rule out the terrifying possibility.
#1. Extremis Virus Marvel Universe
In short, the Extremis virus from the Marvel Universe originated as a healing agent for regenerating amputated limbs before evolving to give superhuman abilities. This can easily be weaponized, since one could potentially create an almost-unstoppable human. Currently, science cannot regenerate limbs and appendages, but the key to doing so may lie in our fingernails. Researchers at the NYU Langone Medical Center used genetically engineered mice to test the chain of events that occurs in fingertip regeneration. They hope that their findings can be used for limb regeneration in the future. The researchers found that the cells rely on proteins called the "Wnt signaling network." These proteins help the growth of hair follicles and fingernails. The ability to create an ever-regenerating super soldier may not be entirely possible just yet, but we could be closer to it than we think.
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