Biphase Charged Particle Cannon

Particle Cannon that fires oppositely charged particles in rapid succession

Biphase Particle Cannon
Image from Steve Bowers
Positron/Electron beam weapon test near Seiton

The Biphase Charged Particle Cannon (BCPC; often alled a 'beekpeek' or 'beekpek' in Anglic-derived languages) is a relatively inexpensive middletech short to moderate range energy weapon, commonly hull mounted on a ship that is carrying it. A targeting mount controls two linear accelerators that are linked to opposite feeds on a positron/electron pair generator. The device is capable of firing a tightly coupled beam of alternating charges, with a net 4-radius gap between particles, at near light-speed. The alternating charges help maintain stream coherency and prevent static charge buildup on the ship or installation that is producing them. This weapon does have some significant limitations. The particle beams must deal both with thermal expansion and electrostatic repulsion and so the the weapon is useful only at relatively close quarters. Also and the beam itself is warped by local magnetic fields so can only be used with accuracy where these are already known.

These weapons can also used to disrupt electronically guided weapons via a strong EMP effect, even without scoring a direct hit. However biphase cannons are not useful against magshielded targets, since the charged particles will be deflected (in opposite directions).

A more primitive biphase particle cannon that used electron and proton beams was also developed in the Solsys Era in Old Sol System. That weapon is also powerful, though it was initially unbalanced and difficult to use. In the present day both kinds of biphase beams are a commonplace short range weapon option for ships or installations.

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Development Notes
Text by John B
additional comments by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 09 July 2004.