Phaser

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  • General term covering nadion-based particle beam weaponry
    • Most well-associated with the Federation, but also independently developed by the Ferengi and Bajor
    • Mid-22nd century, known as either phase pistols (handheld variants) or phase cannons (starship-mounted variants) (ENT)
    • By late-22nd century, known colloquially as phasers (or occasionally lasers) (ENT Novel: Live By the Code; TOS: "The Cage")
  • Projects beam of rapid pulses of phased nadions at particular frequencies (TNG: "The Mind's Eye")
    • Allowable frequency range for a given device determined by calibration of collimation lens (DIS Novel: Desperate Hours)
    • Frequency of pulses determines color of beam (TNG: "Best of Both Worlds, Part I")
  • Beam effect ranges from light stun to heat to fatal nervous disruption to full disintegration
    • Specifics of mechanism
      • Stun
        • Term for lowest phaser beam levels in Federation implementation
          • Phaser level 1 through 3, also commonly known as light stun, medium stun, and heavy stun (TNG Technical Manual)
          • Also used as a generic term for the equivalent effect in other implementations, phaser-based or not
        • Overloads a target's nervous system with hyperstimulus, shocking the brain by stimulating the entire nervous system at once (SCE Short Story: "Fatal Error")
        • Light stun dazes; does not usually result in unconsciousness (TOS: "The Man Trap")
        • Higher levels overload the nervous system and brain to the point of unconsciousness
          • Repeated use of light stun can result in the same effect (SCE Short Story: "Fatal Error")
          • On average human, target is disabled for approximately 15 minutes at medium stun, approximately one hour at heavy stun (TNG Technical Manual)
            • Time can vary widely by species, particular biochemistry
          • Repeated usage of heavy stun against a single target can lead to nervous system damage, possibly death (TNG: "Samaritan Snare")
  • Hand weapons powered by sarium krellide cells (ENT: "The Andorian Incident"; TNG: "In Theory")
    • General landing party protocol to carry one extra fully-charged cell in gear (DIS Novel: Desperate Hours)

History

  • c.2240s: Development concludes on type-nine phaser banks
    • This build was an experimentation with pulse phaser banks
    • Starfleet standard by mid-2250s (DIS)
  • c.2250s: Development concludes on type-ten phaser banks; they are soon installed on Starfleet vessels, with the Constitution-class fleet the first to be upgraded
    • This build was a reversion to beam-style phasers (DIS Novel: Desperate Hours)
    • Large jump in power over type-nine (DIS Novel: Desperate Hours)
    • Starfleet standard by late-2260s (TOS)