What type of plasma?

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Dryn

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What type of plasma?

Postby Dryn » 05.31.12 10:06am

The 2D and 3D Metroid games have different plasma beams. I'm not sure what any of them are, although it seems Samus could change her arm cannon into a welding torch. In MPH, she acquires the Judicator, which is a super-cool plasma. (I wonder if the Ice Beam and Plasma Beam can count as super-cool plasma?) The descriptions for the 2D games say the Plasma Beam pierces through things. What kind of plasma does that? I guess a plasma cutter could cut metal, but I don't know.

I've heard someone say Samus' Plasma Beam in the 2D games are non-neutral plasma, but I don't know. Does anyone have any ideas?

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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Metroids 4 Breakfast » 06.10.12 6:26am

Although I myself don't really know, our best guess is the plasma from 2-D games are just plasma. In the Prime games I guess it is super-heated plasma. That is our best guess.

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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Plasma » 08.07.12 1:03am

Sorry to necro this but, plasma is a type of energy that is contained in the sun. So maybe she does use super heated plasma that incinerates the enemy in seconds.

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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby TheBlackCat » 08.08.12 4:11pm

Plasma is a type of gas that has been ionized, that is had electrons stripped of. It can be very hot, but it can also be very cold, it depends on a number of factors.

The plasma beam in the prime games matches the more commonly-known type of plasma, that is a gas that has been heated to such a high temperature it has become ionized.

The plasma beam in Metroid II, Super, and ZM is not quite so simple. It can pass through (or maybe around), enemies, which would indicate that it might be using some sort of electric field to keep itself in one piece when it encounters obstacles. Or maybe it produces a sheath of charged, high-energy gas around a more stable core, with the stable core using an electrical field to trap the high-energy gas. In either case it doesn't seem to have the thermal properties seen in the prime games, so it is probably not simple super-heated gas, but has probably been ionized in another way, such as strong electric currents.
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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Daya » 08.08.12 5:31pm

I'm going to say the classic Plasma Beam is so powerful it can disperse every atoms that is on its way.
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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Dryn » 08.11.12 7:15pm

Oh. I don't mind that this was necro'd. It really wasn't. Thanks, guys. :D

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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Rtype112000 » 10.14.12 9:29pm

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, solid-liquid-gas-plasma. Each state containing more energy than the last, and since plasma is the highest form, it has the most energy. "cold" is a term we use to describe the lack of energy in a substance. the temperature of each plasma beam would depend on the type of element Samus is shooting from her canon, because each element has a different melting/freezing point, i.e. at room temperature water is a liquid, while oxygen is a gas. so for example, an elemental gas, such as helium, liquifies at an extremely low temperature, so helium plasma would have a relatively low temperature.

On a side note, I've always thought of Samus' plasma beam to be more of a high-density particle beam.

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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby TheBlackCat » 10.24.12 6:04pm

That is not really how it works. Phases of matter are defined by their physical properties, not by their relative kinetic energies. This is because the phase of a material is not determined just by temperature, but also by pressure. So for example water boils at 100 degrees C at atmospheric pressure, but put it in a pressure cooker and the boiling point goes up considerably. Recipes actually have to be adjusted for people living at high altitudes because the change in water's boiling temperature means food often has to be cooked longer. So water vapor at low pressure can have a lower energy than liquid water at high pressure.

Plasma, however, is different than normal phase transitions. It is possible to strip an atom of its electrons without greatly increasing its kinetic energy, and how easy it is to make a plasma is not only determined by the atoms in question, but also how easy it is for the atoms to get back their electrons. This is why plasmas are very common at near vacuum, it is much harder for them to steal an electron from another atom that way.

Also, for phase transitions, you can't really guess where a material will have one phase transition based on another. This is especially true for plasmas, since most phase transitions are due to interactions between atoms or molecules, while plasmas are determined by how strongly a given atom holds on to its own electrons. So for example helium liquefies at just a few degrees above absolute zero at atmospheric pressure, and doesn't solidify even at absolute zero at atmospheric pressure. However, the amount of energy need to turn it into a plasma is over 4 times higher than for lithium, which is a solid at room temperature. This is because helium (and all elements at the right of the periodic table) has a much tighter hold on its electrons than lithium (and all elements at the left of the periodic table).

Also, there are a number of other phases besides those 4 (such as Bose-Einstein condensate, superfluid, maybe supersolid, and non-atomic ones like neutronium and possibly quarkonium).

It is unlikely to be a particle beam (which, depending on the type of beam, could also be a plasma), since particle beams travel at a significant fraction of the speed of light, so we would never be able to see it as a discrete beam.
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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Code Green » 10.29.12 7:16pm

^that post made my day, yay science. anyways yeah, there are like so many phases of matter known anymore...
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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Dryn » 12.27.12 10:59am

I got into the interest of breaking down Samus' Power Suit and I wrote some things regarding the Plasma Beam's temperature in Metroid Prime. Here is what I have so far. It isn't finished.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like the Ice Beam, the temperature for the Plasma Beam is unknown. There is no description to offer an idea of how hot the Plasma Beam is, either. All that is offered is the phrase, "molten energy". It is also described as being capable of igniting some enemies, or enemies that are struck "will be engulfed in flames for a few moments". Well, the Space Pirates have an endo- and exoskeleton. I don't know how this would occur without flesh.

While Space Pirates have alien physiology, their form appears to be similar to humans. So if Space Pirates are compared with humans, I suppose we could begin to come up with numbers by looking at the different degrees of burns. Of course, exposure to hot water will be different from exposure to plasma. Keep in mind is that if the temperature is higher, it will take less time to cause a certain degree of burns.

According to AntiScald Inc., the temperature for a second-degree burn to occur from water is 60°C (140°F) for 3 seconds. For a third-degree burn to occur, the temperature must be the same, but the time must be 5 seconds. All right, so if we even went with that temperature, it's really not impressive. Of course, this is just water, and water isn't going to cause one to burst into flames.

From eHow, most tissue composing the human body combusts at 300°C (572°F). I cannot confirm this, so I will have to assume eHow is correct. Let's go a little higher. Crematories burn between 760 - 982°C (1,400 - 1,800°F), but this takes about 2 hours. A partially or fully charged shot from the Plasma Beam completely incinerates its target, leaving nothing. In order for something like this to occur, the temperature needs to be greater.

What's the next temperature I can use to scale? DemonicBounty from FactPile asked the question of whether or not the Plasma Beam could harm creatures who live in magma. The answer to that is yes. This is quite interesting, really. The magma in Magmoor Caverns tends to have varying colors depending on the person's television screen, ranging from dark red, to red, to bright orange.

While color plays a role, there are also different types magma. Mafic/Basaltic magma has a temperature ranging between 1,000 - 1,200°C (1,832 - 2,192°F), and its viscosity is low. Intermediate/Andesitic magma's temperature is between 800 - 1,000°C (1,472 - 1,832°F) with an intermediate viscosity. Felsic/Rhyolitic magma has a temperature range between 650 - 800°C (1,202 - 1,472°F) with high viscosity.

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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Rustedsoda » 12.31.12 9:23am

Pirates may have an exoskeleton, but even this can burn if you get it hot enough. Throwing ordinary fire at it wouldn't do the job, though.
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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby TheBlackCat » 01.04.13 12:18am

Depends on what, exactly, the exoskeleton is made of. It can't be the same sort of materials exoskeletons on Earth are made of (chitin, sometimes impregnated with minerals) for various reasons (for one thing they would never survive the temperatures they are exposed to). The same goes for the creatures living in magmoor, no organism on Earth can come close to surviving those sorts of temperatures. It wouldn't matter what sort of armor they have, their internal temperature would still be enough to make them spontaneously combust...after all the water in their tissues boiled off explosively. So they must be made of some radically different sorts of materials, which means they are next to useless for determining the temperature of the plasma beam.

The question I have is whether the plasma beam does all its damage through heat or whether there are other effects. Plasma is ionized after all, which means it is highly reactive. It can also have an electrical field associated with it (in fact it would almost have to in order to remain a beam). Both of these could do damage even if the plasma is far below the temperature that the creatures of magmoor are used to encountering.

A better test might be to see what effects it has on rocks. When you shoot a rock with the plasma beam, does the rock continue to glow for a while after the beam hits? I don't recall. But if it does that might give us some clues. Another possibility is what effect, if any, it has on the magma. This might tell us whether it is hotter than the magma or whether it has any effects other than pure heating. Does anyone know this off the top of their head, or do they have a handy save they can use to check?
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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Dryn » 01.05.13 10:33pm

TheBlackCat wrote:Depends on what, exactly, the exoskeleton is made of. It can't be the same sort of materials exoskeletons on Earth are made of (chitin, sometimes impregnated with minerals) for various reasons (for one thing they would never survive the temperatures they are exposed to). The same goes for the creatures living in magmoor, no organism on Earth can come close to surviving those sorts of temperatures. It wouldn't matter what sort of armor they have, their internal temperature would still be enough to make them spontaneously combust...after all the water in their tissues boiled off explosively. So they must be made of some radically different sorts of materials, which means they are next to useless for determining the temperature of the plasma beam.

The question I have is whether the plasma beam does all its damage through heat or whether there are other effects. Plasma is ionized after all, which means it is highly reactive. It can also have an electrical field associated with it (in fact it would almost have to in order to remain a beam). Both of these could do damage even if the plasma is far below the temperature that the creatures of magmoor are used to encountering.

A better test might be to see what effects it has on rocks. When you shoot a rock with the plasma beam, does the rock continue to glow for a while after the beam hits? I don't recall. But if it does that might give us some clues. Another possibility is what effect, if any, it has on the magma. This might tell us whether it is hotter than the magma or whether it has any effects other than pure heating. Does anyone know this off the top of their head, or do they have a handy save they can use to check?


First, I would like to say that what I posted was to begin with a small temperature and gradually work my way up until I can guess temperature no longer. Second, I am glad you have replied.

There are scans of Space Pirates in Frigate Orpheon where the scans show a skeleton. There's also mention of cranial damage, broken legs, and that one scan of how Space Pirates were "broken" after testing their version of the Morph Ball. Even then, it seems that while Magmoors are harmed by the Plasma Beam, they don't burn as far as I remember. When a partially or fully charged shot from the Plasma Beam hits one, its head will explode.

In Metroid Prime, there doesn't seem to be any effects on rocks. You could blow certain rocks up when the beam is charged, but that goes for any beam weapon and missile. In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, hitting certain alloys will cause a change in coloration. In fact, this is interesting now that you mention it because high temperatures excite molecules, allowing heat to radiate from the object.

I don't know what type of magma the Magmoors live in, but basaltic magma doesn't have much gas, making it the least explosive of magma. Andesitic and rhylotic magma have gas build-up, and there are times you will see the magma in Magmoor Caverns shoot upward. Like I said, I don't know what type of magma this is. I think the common type is andesitic magma, though.

The temperature range for that is between 800 – 1,000°C (1,472 – 1,832°F). While I often go for the low end, in my last post I mentioned that it takes about two hours for a body to be cremated, so I wouldn't be surprised if the Plasma Beam is reaching or exceeding 1,000°C. But this is only concerning a charged Plasma Beam. My last idea for trying to come up with a number was by using color temperature.

I guess we could use the Plasma Beam from Corruption to get an idea, but it seems to be agreed by a few people and Wikitroid, I think, that the Plasma Beam in Metroid Prime is stronger than it is in Corruption.

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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby TheBlackCat » 01.07.13 2:59pm

Dryn wrote:First, I would like to say that what I posted was to begin with a small temperature and gradually work my way up until I can guess temperature no longer.

Fair enough

Dryn wrote:There are scans of Space Pirates in Frigate Orpheon where the scans show a skeleton.

Yes, they appear to have an endoskeleton, but they certainly also have a heavily armored exoskeleton (exoskeletons can break too). But it is certainly not made of any biological material we are familiar with, nor are their tissues.

Dryn wrote:Even then, it seems that while Magmoors are harmed by the Plasma Beam, they don't burn as far as I remember. When a partially or fully charged shot from the Plasma Beam hits one, its head will explode.

Both of these would imply that it is something other than temperature that is hurting the magmoors.

In Metroid Prime, there doesn't seem to be any effects on rocks. You could blow certain rocks up when the beam is charged, but that goes for any beam weapon and missile. In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, hitting certain alloys will cause a change in coloration. In fact, this is interesting now that you mention it because high temperatures excite molecules, allowing heat to radiate from the object.

Dryn wrote:I don't know what type of magma the Magmoors live in, but basaltic magma doesn't have much gas, making it the least explosive of magma. Andesitic and rhylotic magma have gas build-up, and there are times you will see the magma in Magmoor Caverns shoot upward. Like I said, I don't know what type of magma this is. I think the common type is andesitic magma, though.

I was more concerned with whether there was any luminescence or coloration change when the beam hit, which would imply the beam is considerably higher temperature than the magma itself. On the other hand we could just chock up the lack of effect to technical limitations.
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Re: What type of plasma?

Postby Dryn » 01.07.13 5:02pm

TheBlackCat wrote:Yes, they appear to have an endoskeleton, but they certainly also have a heavily armored exoskeleton (exoskeletons can break too). But it is certainly not made of any biological material we are familiar with, nor are their tissues.


All right. You said last time that an internal temperature being too high would cause combustion, but I wasn't sure if you were referring to the Space Pirates, or Magmoors, or both. I do not know if the Space Pirates from Zebes are in any way connected with the Space Pirates in the Metroid Prime trilogy. The art book that came with the trilogy says the time between Metroid and Metroid Prime is three years apart, and there is also the scan called Fall of Zebes. It seems from that scan that these Space Pirates are the same as the Zebesian kind.

The connection I am trying to make here is that I recall playing Metroid: Zero Mission and I had a Space Pirate follow me by accident and it fell into the lava in Chozodia. Of course, this might be ignored by the game mechanics, but the Space Pirates in Metroid Prime do not seem to show any averse effects from the temperature in Magmoor. Again, it might just be ignored with the whole "convection schmonvection", but at the same time, the Metroid series is known for not ignoring the heat from magma or lava.

So yes, I do agree with you that the Space Pirates have a different composition not known to us, therefore, it should be ignored. Still, one thing nags my mind. Space Pirates are set on fire when hit by an uncharged shot from the Plasma Beam, so even if we don't know their composition, and all we know is that their composition allows them to survive extreme heat zones, couldn't we at least work from that heat zone temperature and to try coming up with a feasible temperature?

TheBlackCat wrote:Both of these would imply that it is something other than temperature that is hurting the magmoors.


There tends to be a bit of knockback from the Plasma Beam as well. I'm not sure how plasma is reactive, but I might look that up.

TheBlackCat wrote:I was more concerned with whether there was any luminescence or coloration change when the beam hit, which would imply the beam is considerably higher temperature than the magma itself. On the other hand we could just chock up the lack of effect to technical limitations.


I am not sure. I would have to test that out to see. However, I have been looking up some videos for the metal on SkyTown, Elysia where the Plasma Beam is capable of melting them. It says: "Scans detect the alloys within this metal are vulnerable to heat. High-temp shots could melt it." In this video, it shows the Plasma Beam melting the metal instantly after it has been hit. Then at 1:09, you can see the same type of metal taking several shots from the Plasma Beam and melting. I don't know how many shots it would take normally at a slower pace. Still, after the first hit, the metal lights up.

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