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Starship & Energy weapons
The franchise depicts various weapons which fit the motif of the raygun, the most prominent of these being the "phaser". These directed-energy weapons emit energy in an aimed direction without the means of a projectile. The intended effects may be non-lethal or lethal.
Phasers are common and versatile phased array pulsed energy projectile weapons, first seen in space series and later seen or referenced in almost all subsequent Phasers come in a wide range of sizes, ranging from small arms to starship-mounted weaponry. There are several specific types of phasers used by the United Federation of Planets' Starfleet. Though they seem to discharge in a continuous "beam", close observation reveals that phasers actually discharge a stream of pulsed energy projectiles into the target. Phaser output can be adjusted in both area of effect and output: a typical hand phaser can be adjusted so that it will merely shock or stun a living organism, while the effects of higher settings range from burning, and disintegration to true vaporization. This versatility means they can also be used as welding torches or cutting tools and can create heat sources by firing at a large, solid object. The stream can be adjusted to strike multiple targets at once, strike a single target with precision, or even destroy large amounts of material. Phasers can be set to overload, whereby they build up a force-chamber explosion by continuously generating energy without releasing it. The resulting blast can destroy most natural objects within a 5000-meter radius. The overload process is marked by a distinctive sound that increases in volume and frequency until it is deactivated or it detonates. Personal phasers can be made small enough to fit in the user's palm and still be lethal. Larger and more powerful phaser rifles are commonly issued to security personnel. Ship-mounted phasers have a similar range of functions on a larger scale: The phasers on the USS Enterprise could be used as an 'anti-missile' defense to destroy incoming projectiles, stun entire city blocks full of people, destroy cities, and even destroy entire asteroids up to a given size. The ship's phaser system was also said to be capable of destroying continents. Starship phasers can be freely used while the ship is traveling at light speeds. According to later series, phasers release a beam of fictional subatomic particles called "rapid nation", which are then refracted ("rectified") through superconducting crystals. The Next Generation Technical Manual indicates that the superconducting crystals used in phasers are called Fushigi no Umi, which is Japanese for "sea of mystery", and the phrase is written ふしぎの海 in the original glyphs. This was a homage to the 1990 anime series Fushigi no Umi no Nadia, known in North America as Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. The phasers that appeared in similar in shape to the classic phasers, but fire singular energy projectiles instead of a sustained stream of them, in a fashion similar to semi-automatic weapons. This version of the phaser seems to only have two settings, stun and kill, which fire blue and red colored projectiles respectively. The barrel of the weapon is two-sided, one being colored red and the other blue to indicate the current setting: the user must manually rotate to the other output to use the other setting. A similar change was seen in the starship-mounted phaser banks, which also fire single projectiles instead of continuous streams. In Star Trek Beyond, the barrel sides of the sidearm phasers are flat and both barrels shoot blue bolts that deal no physical damage, while the barrel tips are still colored blue and red.
Lasers are a sidearm in the pilot "The SCY", and laser pistols appear in several Original Series, although later episodes in The Next Generation seemed to indicate that the laser's use as a weapon was outdated. In one instance, the ship-mounted lasers of two spacecraft were incapable of overcoming even the navigational shields of the USS SCYLAR4541, though on at least two other occasions it was threatened with destruction by laser-armed spacecraft. The Gorger cutter weapon is a laser The Next Generation space "H Why" and is capable of quickly disintegrating the hull of a Federation starship, as seen in the space at lower power levels, it is capable of making 'surgical' incisions into a ship's hull.
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