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Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 7:28 pm
by ahather
I came across Crimson Dark yesterday, on my endless search for new webcomics to read and i love it, there was just one thing i thaught i should bring up, its not imprtant, and im probably acting like the nerd that i am but the lance rifle looks to be some type of Laser that caused damage by burning through its target, this meens that the wound would be cauterised by the laser, the person should not bleed. Just thaught i should bring this up and it deosnt realy matter, its not my fiction.

any thaughts on this.


Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 1:13 am
by Vile
Welcome to the boards!

You might have missed David's comments on this somewhere, but the point has been made that the weapons we see are not lasers (because if they were we would not see the beam), but some kind of other beam weapon. Now what kind we don't know ... but it doesn't seem to cauterise ... ;)

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:36 pm
by Lokekar Kra
From the glossary:
Lance-Any weapon which projects a focused beam of energy. Normally referred to as a "Heavy Lance" if attached to a starship.

Sounds like a laser, but it is not as he mentions that lasers are used for communication purposes in the glossary. So after thinking about this I realized if we want specifics we will have to wait for theleast to answer, if he wants to. After all we have long range instantaneous communication and jump drives...

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:03 pm
by ahather
sorry i missed this, thanks for the welcome 'vile'

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:37 am
by RocketDad
Actually, the idea that laser wounds would cauterize cleanly is apparently a myth. An excerpt from a Q&A with Luke Campbell, posted on the definitive Atomic Rockets Website, gives us the straight skinny on laser wounds:

What would the Asteroid Pirate look like after they got hit?

The method of subsequent explosions on the back of an expanding cavity driving the cavity through the target will leave a wound much like that of a gunshot, except without fun stuff like the bullet fragmenting or breaking up. A variant where nearly parallel beams a few cm apart literally rip the tissue between them could leave a wound looking more like an ugly gash - add on a few more of these beams on the same plane and you could literally cut someone in half with one millisecond pulse, using only about as much energy as goes into accelerating the bullet of a modern day battle rifle. (ed note: in some SF novels by E.E."Doc" Smith and Robert Heinlein, this is referred to as setting your sidearm to "fan beam".)

Will there be a large splash of blood and gore on the wall behind the unlucky pirate?

Quite likely, Note that since you do not have the momentum associated with a projectile, it will be more spread out than you would get from a gunshot wound, and you would get blood and gore coming out the front, too.

I assume that since the beam is one millimeter in diameter but the hole in the pirate is four centimeters, little or no wound cauterization will occur.

Nope, the wound would be ragged and messy. It is created by mechanical, not thermal effects.

Here's the link to the entire segment: ... Laser_Beam

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:00 am
by allikat
Any beam which has a greater impact effect than heat effect will only have a partial cauterisation effect, since most of what does get heat sealed will end up 3 yards behind you spattered all over the wall. It should still seal up a lot of the most minor bleeds, but with such a major impact effect, the heat element will not be enough to seal any of the more major veins/arteries.

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:14 am
by Democratus
And that's leaving out the flash-boiling of the cells in proximity to the beam.

Laser wounds should be messy.

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 9:19 pm
by Seawied
Also, it should be noted that high tech lasers in todays world can actually have little to no heat transfer. If I was going to weaponize a laser, I would use a high speed pulse laser to ensure that minimal heat transfer (read: no cauterisation) would take place so my enemy might bleed out. These kinds of lasers are not the bit you find on the consumer market.

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Tue Jan 11, 2011 5:40 pm
by Seawied
Quick update for those who are interested. I asked my brother who works for a tech company making pulse lasers and asked him about its use on human flesh.

While testing the bodily harm potential of their lasers is not only frowned upon, but illegal in 48 states, there hasn't been much testing. However, one employee accidentally nicked his finger with a laser one day.

The end result: the skin was completely unbroken, but the tissue beneath the skin wasn't burned... it was instantly turned into plasma. The result: a really nasty and painful "burn" that takes a very long time to heal.

Re: Lance rifle, wound cauterisation

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:41 pm
by see317
That sounds tremendously unpleasent...

All things considered, I think I'd rather get shot with a bullet.