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Old December 23 2008, 12:54 PM   #22
Re: Why don't phasers shoot straight?

I suppose a steerable beam could be an advantage for a moving target if the beam steers faster than swinging your arm or jerking your hand but again, has it been specifically stated phaser beams are steerable?
I don't see why it would have to be specifically stated. It's an explanation that fits the plentiful visual evidence, and it makes technological and tactical sense...

Anyway, what Kira says about the Federation phaser in "Return to Grace" includes these bits:

Kira: "A little less powerful, but with more options: sixteen beam settings; fully autonomous recharge; multiple target acquisition; gyrostablized; the works."
The fact that it can "acquire" targets heavily suggests that it can also lock on to those targets, i.e. aim itself. Else the feature would make little sense.

The only problem I have with phasers, as I see them used, is that the beams take too long to reach their target. You can actually see the beams moving. This shouldn't happen; it should be near-instantaneous.
Why? Water coming out of a hose won't reach the target instantaneously, either.

Nothing in the aired material necessitates phasers to be lightspeed weapons. Indeed, the material seems to establish that the beams are slower than most bullets. A fair exchange, I'd say, considering how much more useful the beam is in comparison with a bullet!

Timo Saloniemi
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