Sentinal Beam Properties
I'm of the opinion that we need to change the designation of the Sentinal Beam from Laser-based to Particle or maybe Plasma-based. Lasers, being comprised of photons, do not possess the necessary mass to move a solid object. This obviously excludes hard light or the supposition of a very small targeted mass. The Sentinal Beam has the capability to push a Warthog or Mongoose over with little trouble; especially so when more than one is used. This suggests a continuous stream of matter, relatively dense, high-energy matter.
A continuous stream of plasma is the more likely of the two possible alternatives to being a Laser. A continuous stream of high-energy plasma would require a very long and very strong magentic "tube" to contain and direct. Generation of such a tube is entirely possible with the Forerunner's technological superiority. It could also be possible that such an apparently high-density plasma stream would require the use of a specialized elemental isotope or manufactured gas, explaining why the Beam would run out of ammunition: the Sentinal that the weapon is attatched to possesses the manufacturing or filtering plant necessary to arm the device, and when it is removed the beam no longer has an infinite ammunition supply.
For your consideration, --Bruce2401 22:34, 28 February 2011 (EST)
Agreed, it seems more like a plasma weapon than anything else SPARTAN-347 22:57, 28 February 2011 (EST)
Haha, whew. I go through all the trouble to check my physics and facts, develop an elegant theory to explain the mechanics of one of the most awesome weapons in the games, and all I get someone to agree with is that it's a plasma weapon! Oh, oh man, that's funny in ways it shouldn't be. --Bruce2401 01:49, 7 March 2011 (EST)
What about Flamethrowers?
Flamethrowers are the oldest form of weaponry of this class (In the tech developement stages). They use heat, from the fire, to kill the target. Missing Mandible 00:19, 19 March 2011 (EDT)
I think you may be mistaken. The flamethrower's original purpose was to eliminate oxygen in an enclosed environment and suffocate enemies in hiding, not burn them to death. The one used in the games is even further removed from killing by it's designation as a defoliant projector, an anti-plant weapon if you will. --Bruce2401 23:35, 19 March 2011 (EDT)
Besides that, flamethrowers use liquid and ignite it; Directed-energy weapons typically use plasma, which is highly energized/excited matter SPARTAN-347 23:39, 19 March 2011 (EDT)