Any one of a number of weapons which fire a highly energized beam of ionized gas at their targets, causing damage by their intense heat and kinetic energy. Hydrogen fuel is heated to a plasma state by a powerful laser ignition system, then released through a magnetically focussed field along the weapon's barrel.
The class can be further subdivided into plasma and fusion guns. Fusion guns contain the plasma slightly longer until a fusion reaction begins to take place. The extra firepower this produces makes the fusion gun the more powerful weapon in this class.
Energy weapons range in size from man-portable models, through battlefield weapons mounted on tanks, to starship turret weapons for use in deep space. The largest are contained in large batteries known as bays .
(BOOK-5, 1107; MT-ENCYC, 1120)
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