Talk:Magnetic Accelerator Cannon

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MAC Yields and Realism[edit]

I just want to throw this out there since the talk page seems to be centered around the power of this weapon: none of the figures that have been calculated can be possible, and I doubt the authors of the novels or the encyclopedia considered logic too terribly much when they wrote them, thus they simply made up figures that sounded cool. Here's why 1.17 teratons is completely retarded and unrealistic: the covenant supercruiser of FoR took 3 MAC hits to its shield, and it didn't fail. That would be equal to 1.17*3=3.51 teratons of kinetic energy dissipated. The largest nuclear weapon ever detonated was the Tsar Bomba in 1961, at 50 megatons. Thus, the supercruiser's shield should have absorbed over 70000 times the energy of the world's most powerful nuclear weapon, which itself had a power output of 1.4% of the sun. If covenant ships can generate that much power, then one of them should be able to obliterate the planet (exaggeration, yes, just making a hyperbole here). HORNET mines, as seen in GoO, can destroy a fleet of covenant vessels, yet they are but a mere 30 megatons of yield. How is this possible? Because the MAC is not nearly as powerful as is asserted on this page. We know that covenant vessels can survive nuclear blasts in the multimegaton range undamaged, but as a nuclear detonation in space spreads its energy out spherically from the point of detonation, a comparatively tiny fraction of the energy is going to hit any given ship, even at point blank. Those who have asserted powers in the several kilotons are likely the most accurate in regard to the MAC power, given what we know about nuclear weapons vs covenant shields. And the power of the super MACS? All recharged in 5 seconds? Don't even get me started on the rediculous nature of THAT.... Quakeomaniac 08:40, January 7, 2010 (UTC)

  1. This is Sci-fi, get use to it.
  2. Non of the figures calculated can be possible? Its sci-fi and canon overrides all else.
  3. Lie, the shields of the super cruiser were downed by MAC 3 MAC rounds and around 500 Archer missiles.
  4. GoO is overruled by the latest canon info, the Halo Encyclopedia. Per Bungies canon policy old overrules old so older sources can not be used to overrule it.
  5. Farther on Nukes: The UNSC NOVA Bomb is proof that the UNSC has Teraton range nuclear devices given that it is stated to be nine fusion warheads with yield increased a hundredfold which means each warhead is 1/900th of the low-end 1.2 Petatons!

If Megaton range weapons were able to be used why then would the UNSC not nuke spam the Covenant with the resources needed for one NOVA Bomb?

  1. Ah, trying to dispute a state canon fact that the SMACs per TFoR can fire every 5 seconds?
  2. This is sci-fi, watch Star Trek if you really want to see impossible stuff.—This unsigned comment was made by (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!
Quakeomaniac does have a point, if not to point out the inconsistencies of Halo. The Covenant shields do seem to possess different outputs and strengths, as many different weapons of different yields can be used to tear through their shields. A teraton range does seem unrealistic if a megaton warhead is enough. I would think that ships armed with MACs would have little trouble against Covenant ships. Aiming would be the hardest part. Can you be more clear on your 1.2 Petaton assertion? That seems like an AWFULLY large yield for a mere nine warheads, even if they are fusion.
As for Star Trek, yes the stuff is impossible, but the creators hired scientists, physicists, and other experts in the field to literally invent futuristic devices, sights, concepts, and technology that was not only futuristic and cool, but also scientifically possible, meaning we as the modern human race could produce it or find it given the proper resources. Everything on that show is something that could theoretically exist (can't speak for the new movie).   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   14:46, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate you taking the time to consider what I said Orion rather than just call me an idiot with a bunch of nonsense. Regarding the inconsistencies, here's an interesting one. The page for the covenant carrier states it can withstand 3 MAC rounds (not sure where that comes from, I'll just take it for now). Yet, the supercruiser in TFoR also took 3 MACs and a bit more (the archers) to drop its own shields. This implies that the carrier and supercruiser, two drastically different sized ships, have roughly equal shields. Makes little sense. This could perhaps be rectified if we knew the yield of an archer missile relative to a MAC round, but we assume its low based on the book. As for the guy who doesn't bother to sign his comments: Yes, this is sci-fi, thank you captain obvious. This does not prevent a meaningful discussion of it. As far as canon, that's the whole point I'm making, nothing agrees. As for the supercruiser, can you tell me where I mentioned the archer missile part? The GoO assertation doesn't need comment. Also the NOVA bomb is nowhere near a normal nuke, and the technology used in it is NOT used in the reactors on ships, which is what powers the MAC. And I'm not trying to state the SMAC can't fire every five seconds, merely that its energy usasage (if it's a 9+ teraton shot) is unrealistically enormous. Anyway, please consider what I said and try to have a meaningful discussion on it rather than insult me. Quakeomaniac 18:19, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
No problem. I understand how these things are. Jumping the gun and rushing to false conclusions only makes hot heads and steeled tempers, so the whole debate turns into an honor fight or resembles two brick walls communicating with each other. I definitely see the inconsistencies with shielding here. Perhaps the supercruiser was already suffering from decreased shield output so it took less force to breach them?
Based on the Archer's specifications and relative 'advancement' of human warfare technology and such, I would say the Archer has a pretty low yield, at least when compared to a MAC. But there could be some other factor in here not mentioned already: chemistry. Perhaps the chemical properties of the various warheads and MAC rounds create different situations for the Covenant shielding, so a nuclear warhead could deal more damage to a shield simply because its reacting causes additional strain on the shield. Conversely, the MAC could cause some chemistry to weaken the shielding, dealing more damage than other firepower.
By the way, if you are familiar with the Romluan Warbird (pretty sure that's it), its most destructive weapon is somewhere on the order of a 52 terawatt beam. Now I don't know how that stacks up to a 1.17 teraton blast yield, but the Warbird is MASSIVE and I would suspect it is because it needs so much machinery to sustain a beam of that wattage. Just throwing it out there. As such, I am led to believe that the propensity for a ship the size of the POA using a single weapon with a 9+ teraton yield, considering how the most powerful nuke ever devised doesn't even begin to compare, is very, very low. A teraton output seems out of proportions, considering how in the 26th century, humanity still drives on wheels and still fires metal at supersonic speeds as their primary weaponry. Sure other advances have been made, but I would think that if we have AI that are practically sentient then we should have more phaser-like technology and hovercars.
PS: don't forget to watch your capitalization. Covenant should be capitalized.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   18:41, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
I am familiar with the Romulan ship, presumably you refer to the D'deridex class warbirds, which are, at least based on the designer's intentions, approximately 1300 meters long, larger than most any UNSC ship, slightly smaller than a Covenant destroyer. Fifty-two terawatts is nowhere even CLOSE to 1.17 teratons, as the Tsar Bomba was 5.4 YOTTAWATTS in power output (for reference, tera is 10^12, yotta is 10^24). So there we have it, technology in Trek is far more advanced, yet somehow the halo weapons are tremendously more powerful? I think we can conclude that the MAC yield is improbable. Quakeomaniac 18:54, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
Also, your idea about chemistry is rather interesting. I always looked at energy shields in any universe as just an energy vs energy concept. In halo though, we see plasma weapons doing more damage to shields, and your reasoning of chemistry (could be physics too), makes sense to account for the difference. If you have any more thoughts on chemistry and shields, please toss them out there. I don't know that chemistry can account for a huge huge difference in nuclear and MAC yield, but it could be helpful nonetheless. Quakeomaniac 19:06, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
I used to see shielding as energy vs. energy, or rather a form of energy that was 'solidified' to withstand/absorb other forms of energy on impact. As such, I viewed a shield as a simple solid geometric plane encapsulating a vessel, and was neither penetrable nor malleable. However, hearing how the Covenant shielding was penetrated in a specific area, and recounting various other accounts of buckling shielding and whatnot, my outlook on the standard model of vessel-based shielding has changed. Perhaps the shielding is generated by oscillating specific frequencies around the ship. These frequencies could interact with various types of energy to produce a shielding effect by either neutralizing the incoming energy, or reducing its bite. This setup could potentially allow for many different things to enter an exit the space surrounding a vessel freely, while at the same time blocking damaging energy. If this is the case, then chemistry is more than likely a major component in shield design.
We see that MJOLNIR shields are easily depleted by sustained plasma fire, and a charged plasma pistol shot wipes them out, no matter how strong. This definitely implies some chemical workings here. For an overcharged shot to completely neutralize an overshield, yet have a much smaller effect as a single shot means that the shields could be overloaded by a high amount of plasma impacting at one moment. This could have some chemical interaction between the shields and plasma. My theory is that shields can neutralize as small amount of incoming plasma, but still allow some of it to reduce the shield integrity. If too much plasma impacts at one moment, then the shield cannot neutralize enough for the plasma to overwhelm the integrity and collapse it.
Now that is not chemistry right there, but chemical interaction could easily occur between the shields (or energy frequencies) and, say, a NOVA bomb. I believe that a MAC round, being a pure kinetic weapon, does not interact with the Covenant shielding in any way other than busting through it. If anything, the speed of the round could create some as-of-yet undiscovered (or unmentioned) form energy to collect up, similar to how a bullet bunches up the air in front of it as it travels. As this bunching of energy nears the shields, it could cause the frequencies or shielding to thin out (or likewise thicken up). A NOVA bomb could work in the same way, and could also create interactions by detonating. The nuclear blast and radiation could interact with the shielding in a detrimental way.
And as if all that wasn't enough, it may also be possible that the shielding only stops more conventional forms of energy, i.e. kinetic, nuclear, light, etc., but may actually act as a semipermeable membrane and allow other forms of energy, possibly those generated form a NOVA blast, to pass through. These forms of energy could interact with whatever it is that produces the shielding and corrupt their integrity.
Whew, this is fun. Lots of stuff to consider when one examines an event analytically and scientifically haha.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   20:25, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
Hah, yeah you make a great point here, I also enjoy looking at a fictional technology in a scientific way. Who knows, could tell us how it works one day. Interesting though how we went more from a MAC discussion to a shield/star trek (what with the frequencies) discussion though, but it's no problem. I was looking at the energy shield talk page earlier, and RelentlessRecusant posted a neat bit on shield physics, and he made some points that are similar to what you're saying. Would be nice to get him to read over this discussion. You can flip over to that and read it real quick if you want, tell me what you think. The concept on plasma pistols makes good sense, as does the idea of allowing some things (i.e EM energy from shipboard sensors) to pass freely in and out of the shield, while damaging energy (i.e the ships plasma torpedoes) can't, as we see it drop parts of the shield to fire. I can't disagree with what you've said, as it sounds good, and I like the thought in it. Quakeomaniac 21:04, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
Will check it out. However, the overall values of MAC yields still remain unsolved. I did see that they were changed to the gigaton level again, which is more reasonable but perhaps too high. I would need more specific examples of MAC and NOVAs being used in combat to formulate a working hypothesis, as I have not read any of the books (wish I owned them).   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   22:40, January 7, 2010 (UTC)
Definitely recommend reading the books, they're great. Haven't read them all myself, but I have read the Nylund novels. I would concur that a gigaton range is still quite a bit too high. I personally feel that anything higher than the very low megaton range is too much, because I'm using HORNET mines as my estimate for the upper limit of the typical Covenant ship (essentially anything but the most powerful vessels i.e assault or supercarriers) shields. One nuclear detonation on the scale of 30 megatons, the yield of the mines, will drop, or come close to dropping, the ships' shields. Now, maybe the EMP effect of nuclear detonations has an effect here, but I can't see it being so huge that a MAC would need teratons of energy to compensate for the lack of the EMP effect. Thus, based on the common occurence of two to three MAC shells to break a shield, and the fact that a nuke in space won't direct anywhere near all its energy upon a single ship, I conclude that the likely yield of a MAC is somewhere in the mid to high kiloton range. But as you said, it's an unsolved mystery. Quakeomaniac 03:18, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
After reading your response above, a new theory came to mind. Since a MAC round is purely kinetic, that force could easily be sustained, absorbed, or dispersed, at least somewhat. So my hypothesis is that Covenant shields are able to absorb a significant degree of kinetic energy, but they can only sustain so much. If a MAC round were to possess teratons of kinetic energy, perhaps teratons were absorbed, but a few kilo- or gigatons were leftover, and these penetrated the shields, making a few MAC rounds comparable to NOVA bombs, HORNET mines, and such. This explains why the UNSC would need a weapon with such a high yield, but leaves the question of how unanswered.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   05:32, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
Ok.... I'm not 100% sure I follow you on this one. If I'm reading what you said correctly, you're theorizing that the shield is simply extremely effective against kinetic impact, but against something such as electromagnetic radiation (x-rays and gamma rays and the like) released from a nuclear explosion, they can't withstand it as well? This also makes me wonder, based on this... the book seems to indicate that a vessel's shields are split into multiple sections (as we see both Cortana aboard the Ascendant Justice and 'Mantakree's officers aboard the Incorruptible indicate certain portions of the shield failed), and a MAC round directs maximum energy over minimum surface area, much like modern kinetic energy penetrators fired from tank guns, so that the round would direct all energy upon one portion of the shield. A nuclear explosion would disperse its energy over the entire ship's shields (or at least one side). This even further seems to support that the MAC yield is far lower than the article suggets, but at the same time, it does not refute your theory that the shields are simply very efficient at dispersing kinetic hits, much like an elite's shield is versus human weapons. Actually, nuclear explosions, at least here on Earth, create an ultrahot plasma at their hypocenter, which is seen as the characteristic fireball. Now, in space, a nuclear detonation simply releases an enormous amount of high energy radiation, since there's not an atmosphere to absorb it and create a fireball, BUT, the whole idea of introducing the plasma part in atmospheric detonations is to suggest that, since we know shields to be weak to plasma, nuclear explosions may be much more effective against shields, thus allowing a lesser amount of energy, in a different form, to penetrate them. I apologize for the rambling, but new ideas seem to come up quickly. Quakeomaniac 06:36, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
Hey no worries. I know what it's like. I theorize that the shields are not necessarily extremely effective at dispersing kinetic energy, just capable of dispersing a large amount. If a MAC round really did have teratons of energy, then I theorize a Covenant shield would be incapable of preventing all of that energy from penetrating the shield, leaving a few kilo- or gigatons left over that damage the ship's exterior. The shields could withstand some of the force from a nuclear blast, particularly the rushing wave of particles and energy, but against the radioactive side of things, the shields may not be able to block all or any of it.
Your statement on different sections is definitely interesting. I didn't know that. If the shield is broken up into different powered sections, I would think each section would be stronger overall then just powering a single shield section. This would mean more force can be sustained, and the UNSC would need more force to penetrate. Since plasma energy could be produced via a nuclear explosion in space, and Covenant shielding has been observed to be vulnerable to plasma fire, this could make a NOVA bomb a better weapon of choice against the Covenant, even though it has a small yield.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   14:41, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that anytime a MAC round impacts a covenant shield, a small part of the energy makes it through? Like.... that no number of rounds would TOTALLY drop it, but each successive round would do more and more hull damage? Also, the idea of compartmentalized shield sections having more power is a neat idea, as it would allow a shipmaster to divert power to sections of the shield that are vulnerable, and disable sections not in any danger. Quakeomaniac 18:10, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
Not quite. In my mind, shields can only take so much battering before they just become useless. Perhaps they still have some effectiveness, but when you consider the fact that the Covenant is getting their posterior whooped by tungsten slugs traveling at nearly half the speed of light, a weak shield isn't going to do much for them. I believe that after so much MAC impacts the shields fail to stop most, if any, of the MACs kinetic energy, so two or three successive shots could punch a hole by deteriorating a shield section. Speaking of sections, I definitely think they are used, especially in Star Trek. The idea of a uni-shield seems ineffective and weak when compared to the advantages of multi-shielding. Over half this conversation should be moved to the shield talk page methinks haha.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   18:30, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
As for the shield talk page... yeah that would probably be a good idea. Star trek definitely uses sections, in the new movie Pike says "divert auxiliary power from port nacelles to FORWARD shields." I pretty much concur with what you say on shields... now we just need a logical explanation as to HOW the UNSC reactors can produce that much energy, if we're going to go with the why that this enormous conversation created. Quakeomaniac 20:23, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
I agree. I'll get back and see if I can't move this to the shield talk page. Perhaps someone there will know why a MAC round is listed as such a kinetically powerful weapon. I mean really the force should be calculable by Newton's Second Law (F=ma), so if I can get the mass of the slug and the acceleration imparted on it by the magnetic coils. Given the mass is a large, as is the acceleration (they list it as half of c), I would expect the force to me likewise large, but I would need to convert the force units from F=ma (Newtons) to teratons (or gigatons, kilotons, etc).   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   21:36, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
Please continue your discussion below. Oh, avoid using the asterisks (*).- 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 21:50, January 8, 2010 (UTC)
My apologies. I knew I was missing something by using *. It was a : instead.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   23:07, January 8, 2010 (UTC)

Please don't take this as an insult, but I'd just like to point out that Newton's second law doesn't mean anything. The physical constant C is a velocity, approximately 3*10^8 meters per second, not an acceleration. The formula you are looking for is that for kinetic energy, E=(1/2)MV^2. By the work-kinetic energy theorem, this formula will account for the forces imparted by the slug anyway. Force and energy (kilotons, megatons, so on are units of energy) are not the same thing, so you can't convert them directly. Just trying to steer you in the right direction. Quakeomaniac 22:28, January 8, 2010 (UTC)

None taken. I forgot that one. I wasn't saying c was the acceleration, just the speed to which the slug is accelerated to. The actual acceleration could be calculated by a=v/t and should be a fairly simple matter. I have never worked with the -ton units before, so I assumed they were force units. However, I have no idea how I arrived at that, considering how this whole discussion has been about energy. But yes, the ΔKE equation will work. Since we need the energy value, I just realized we have no use for the acceleration but to calculate the force as an added bonus. UNLESS...the Covenant shields protect against energy and force, in which case it could be difficult to discern which of the two properties the MAC slug uses to breach the shields. This could mean that the slug, upon contact with the shield, interacts in such a way that the kinetic energy is transformed into work, and then into force, and it is this force that the shields can only withstand so much of. However, for a slug to damage the ship's exterior, some of the slug would have to travel through and impact the hull, since to my understanding KE cannot be transmitted as other forms of energy could. It needs an object to impart that energy to another object, much the same as sound needs a medium in which to oscillate.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   23:07, January 8, 2010 (UTC)

I actually think, rather than force, what you may be looking for here is pressure, or how much force the MAC round exerts over a given area of the shield, and the shield thus may have a limit to how much any small portion can withstand, which would make sense. The APFSDS round fired by the SRS99C sniper rifle has a very small frontal area and very high velocity, thus it is able to punch through several enemies at once. In the same way, in the novels, we see MAC rounds leave holes in the hulls of covenant ships (in TFoR this is prominent) but it doesn't do much to disable the vessel, due to their build quality. Thus, the shields may be unable to withstand such a huge force on a comparatively tiny area, just as the hull is. The force exerted is a matter of how quickly the shield can stop the shell, based impulse-momentum. I can see what you're getting at, but consider pressure. The shields also obviously must protect against force, or rather exert a counter force to stop the projectile. Quakeomaniac 03:24, January 9, 2010 (UTC)

Gotcha. Pressure definitely is involved, but probably should be considered after we settle just how many tons of energy a MAC round has. The pressure talk should go to the shields page when we can explain/speculate how the Covenant shielding is so advanced and all but can't stop a simple metal slug (even though it is traveling at near-rrelativistic speeds).   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   03:29, January 9, 2010 (UTC)

I personally think that the simple explanation is just for storytelling purposes. I doubt the authors of the novels considered logic or consistency too much when the books were written. In fact, from what I can see of Halo Wars Genesis on this site, the lone ship at the second battle of harvest withstood a tremendous battering of nukes and MAC rounds. Now, for a while the supercarrier page possessed this information, as it seems people came to the conclusion that by the size of that vessel and its immense power, it must be that ship. However, it could have been a more typical covenant ship, albeit a rather strong one. So, we can't really say for sure who is right, the novels, or Genesis. If it were my choice, I'd say its more likely that Genesis is right, and that covenant ships are probably tougher than the novels let them be. In the novels, human ships can win with reasonable ease. I mean come on, in TFoR, the puny Pillar of Autumn soloed a covenant cruiser 3 times longer than it, the supercruiser, and I consider that highly improbable and retarded, and I posted that on the talk page. Our long conversation here has come up with more interesting ideas about how shields work than about the original topic, the yield of the MAC. I'm going to say that A) covenant ships are LIKELY more durable than they appear in the novels, and B) the MAC is almost certainly less powerful than the calculations from canon info give. Let me know if you agree with that. We can continue talking about shields on that page haha. Quakeomaniac 04:19, January 9, 2010 (UTC)

I agree with both of your assertions. The List of Inconsitencies in Halo certainly bears testament ot the fact that the novelists and designers did not put a whole lot of thought into synchronization and consitency when they each put together their works. I move that we do some good 'ol physics to calculate the correct energy value. All we need is the mass. We can assume that the velocity is between .4 and .5 c. Using that in the KE equation would give us the kinetic energy, and from their (in the shield page) we could thoerize why it is that one weapon is more effective than another against Covenant shields. (PS I sent you an invite for your consideration)   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   05:18, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
Funny thing is, the 1.17 teraton figure comes from the 600 ton shell stated in the novels and the presumably 40% of C muzzle velocity found in the encyclopedia, which is what started this entire amusing debate... oh what to do now. The velocity is what's likely horribly wrong anyway, because that is what makes the energy so unrealistically high, as velocity is squared in the KE equation, mass isn't. Quakeomaniac 05:38, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
But the tonnage is weight not mass, so it must be converted for it to work in the equation.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   05:41, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
You can trust me on that one, it is, the SI unit of mass is the kilogram, and there is a conversion factor for tons to kilograms i.e 600 tons is about 544,000 kilograms. I can verify the result of 1.17 teratons is (sadly) what the canon information yields when you bring in physics. Quakeomaniac 06:11, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
Ok so I lied, the result I calculate is .94 teratons or 940000 gigatons, but regardless, that's still WAAAAAAYYY too big haha... Quakeomaniac 06:13, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
I confirm the math. I got 1.37 teratons though. I will try again tomorrow, with more precise methods. I don't grasp the immensity of this energy, so I'll also compare it to energy values I am familiar with.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   06:30, January 9, 2010 (UTC)
I just want to put up a hilarious result I got doing some calculations. If the super MAC can fire a 9.98 teraton shot every 5 seconds, this requires a power supply capable of outputting over 8 trillion gigawatts of power, not to mention doing that wirelessly. Call me crazy, but I'm going to say this is impossible. Quakeomaniac 21:04, January 20, 2010 (UTC)
A further thing I noticed. The article even states the standard ship based MAC is a 600 ton projectile at 30,000 meters per second, or .0001c. This yields nowhere even CLOSE to 1.17 gigatons of energy, but more like 58.6 kilotons, a FAR more realistic answer. The whole .0001c velocity also implies impossibility for the super MAC velocity of .5c Quakeomaniac 23:28, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
That sounds like it explains it. I have no idea how they came up with the other values then, if the information needed was already in the article.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   23:30, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
Ok I just have to throw this out because it's the most hilariously improbable thing I've calculated yet. If you go compute the required acceleration for a projectile to reach .5c within 1336 meters (the length of the ODP), you get but a mere 858 billion G's. I dunno about you, but I feel that would destroy anything ever... haha. Now if you're familiar with mass effect, a game whose warships use a very similar main armament to the MAC, their dreadnoughts (of very similar size to the marathon or halcyon classes) fire projectiles that are a mere 20 kilograms in size at 1.3% of lightspeed, but this not only gives the perfectly reasonable 38 kiloton yield, but the also reasonable 250 G's of acceleration (assuming a 1000 meter ship). Quakeomaniac 23:37, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
Oops I lied make that 825 million G for the mass effect ships... hah my mistake. Quakeomaniac 23:40, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
Yes. We now have conclusive evidence and lasting proof that the original MAC yields were impossibly high. I think the article should be changed to reflect your calculated values, and make sure to include proof (the math) so others don't automatically jump to conclusions and think the value is wrong. On the subject of G's, a regular washer cycle spins at about 79G's of centripetal force. Haha.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   23:42, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
Yes indeed I very much agree. It's about time we brought this insanely long topic to a close. However, because I don't want a bunch of insane flamers coming after me for betraying the halo bible (the encyclopedia), I'll leave it up to an administrator (preferably) or another editor to make the changes if it is seen as desirable. I appreciate all your input to the discussion Orion. Quakeomaniac 23:55, January 25, 2010 (UTC)
I can understand that. People these was agreeable talking to you as well. Hopefully this lengthy discussion will end up bettering this community.   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   00:13, January 26, 2010 (UTC)

“Quakeomaniac does have a point, if not to point out the inconsistencies of Halo. The Covenant shields do seem to possess different outputs and strengths, as many different weapons of different yields can be used to tear through their shields. A teraton range does seem unrealistic if a megaton warhead is enough. I would think that ships armed with MACs would have little trouble against Covenant ships. Aiming would be the hardest part. Can you be more clear on your 1.2 Petaton assertion? That seems like an AWFULLY large yield for a mere nine warheads, even if they are fusion. As for Star Trek, yes the stuff is impossible, but the creators hired scientists, physicists, and other experts in the field to literally invent futuristic devices, sights, concepts, and technology that was not only futuristic and cool, but also scientifically possible, meaning we as the modern human race could produce it or find it given the proper resources. Everything on that show is something that could theoretically exist (can't speak for the new movie).”

1. The 1.2 Petatons is a low using the Inverse Square Law for the shattering of the moon (see the NOVA bomb page). In the end each of those nukes is 1/900th the yield of the NOVA.

2. ALMOST NOTHING IN STAR TREK IS SCIENTIFICALLY POSSIBLE. This is the show that has blacks holes with cracked event horizons, Super Nova that can wipe out a large area of the galaxy, and were half an ounce of Anti-Matter can blow half the atmosphere off an M-class planet. Only a very few things in ST are possible, hell the book “The Physics of Star Trek” evens says most of the stuff is impossible.

“I appreciate you taking the time to consider what I said Orion rather than just call me an idiot with a bunch of nonsense. Regarding the inconsistencies, here's an interesting one. The page for the covenant carrier states it can withstand 3 MAC rounds (not sure where that comes from, I'll just take it for now). Yet, the supercruiser in TFoR also took 3 MACs and a bit more (the archers) to drop its own shields. This implies that the carrier and supercruiser, two drastically different sized ships, have roughly equal shields. Makes little sense. This could perhaps be rectified if we knew the yield of an archer missile relative to a MAC round, but we assume its low based on the book. As for the guy who doesn't bother to sign his comments: Yes, this is sci-fi, thank you captain obvious. This does not prevent a meaningful discussion of it. As far as canon, that's the whole point I'm making, nothing agrees. As for the supercruiser, can you tell me where I mentioned the archer missile part? The GoO assertation doesn't need comment. Also the NOVA bomb is nowhere near a normal nuke, and the technology used in it is NOT used in the reactors on ships, which is what powers the MAC. And I'm not trying to state the SMAC can't fire every five seconds, merely that its energy usasage (if it's a 9+ teraton shot) is unrealistically enormous. Anyway, please consider what I said and try to have a meaningful discussion on it rather than insult me.”

I have. I am sorry if I insulted you, I was just in a hurry to get that posted was all. I meant no offense.

1. It may have been because the Super Cruiser was low on power from firing the Energy Projector at the moment.

2. Not only that Keyes wanted to get the PoA away from the ship because he was afraid that even at a distance I believe in the hundreds to thousands of kms here thought it could damage the ship which gives a very high yield.

3. We must also note that an Archer missile was able to chase after for a few seconds a Covenant ship going 100,000 KPH, so I’m surprise they put a warhead on since the KE would be in the MT range.

4. As I said before sorry. But in Sci-fi things that just shouldn’t be possible happen like with ST. Also. You didn’t mention Archer missiles, I was just pointing out that the 3 MAC rounds and 500 or so Archers downed the shields.

5. The NOVA Bomb is stated to be made up of 9 fusion warheads that have the yield increased a hundred fold, meaning that each nuke making up the NOVA has 1/900th the yield of the NOVA bomb going off.

6. Lets look at high yields and ship ranges and stated speeds from the games and books now, shall we?

A. Halo:CE when the PoA fusion reactors goes off the fireball is over a thousand kilometers across giving it a yield of 100+ Teratons.

B. Halo:CE the Longsword on fusion power is able to cross 20,000 kilometers in 90 seconds.

Both of these examples would be impossible with real-world fusion. Continuing now:

C. Halo 3 the Covenant are able to in a short time with a small fleet uncover the 108 km Ark Portal in hours.

D. Halo 2, once the Covenant fleet has entered the effective range of the SMAC stations even the ships are firing which supports a higher speed for the round then the silly 30/km second round that crossed 3,000 kms in seconds from TFoR.

E. Page 8 of TFoR a Covenant fleet of only 36 ships removed the oceans and atmosphere of a planet in 1 hour which gives us Teraton range yield.

F. We also have the Captain of a UNSC frigate state his ship can do 80 million KPH which also puts it above real-world fusion.

G. FS a the AJ-Gettysburg is able to pull around 6400 Gs when it accelerates across 10,000 kms in 18 seconds or so which gives us just under a Teraton for engine output there.

H. Halo 3 the FuD is able to cross a greater distance in a similar amount of time to the Longword in Halo:CE.

It seems to me even parts of the game agree with low GT to low TT firepower.—This unsigned comment was made by (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Mr. Anonymous User 207.200116.136, are you asserting that Star Trek is for the most part impossible? Secondly, I'm unclear what you're getting at with your post. It looks like you're backing us up by bringing more inconsistencies to the table. Is this correct?   ΘяɪɸɴF22    Me    Talk    Contributions    CAG   03:06, January 26, 2010 (UTC)
To begin with, I always thought of Star Trek as one of the universes that tried to be accurate. Possible today? No. A lot of Star Trek though doesn't really violate the laws of physics, but at the time it was made, these things, like antimatter, were not nearly so well understood as today. Incorrect numbers I will give them a break for. I also don't know what you're trying to say. Please back up what you have said with some sources, as I have no idea where you're getting a lot of this, and I'm familiar with all but the two newer novels. I'm not trying to necessarily say you don't have any argument, but please indicate where you found this. The one part I can safely comment on though is the supercruiser. Why would a ship be designed so that it could not fire its weapons without draining its own shields? Halo Wars Genesis and Legends (I think) depict a battle with a SMALLER covenant ship being tremendously harder. I seriously doubt low on energy is a realistic reason if the ship fired one shot. After all, it fired 5 at once earlier. Quakeomaniac 17:48, January 26, 2010 (UTC)

orionf22@ I can agre that some things in ST are possible, but we have thngs like their ships having 64 MT torps, and yet in DS9 and yet we are told The Die is Cast that in 6 hours they would have stripped a planet down to the core. Voy we have the cracked EH, an FTL super nova etc. We have the new movie with the Black Hole creating Red Matter, the SUPER NOVA OF SUPER DOOM that blew up a large section of teh FTL speeds. Trust me, ST is anything but possible, and less consistent then Halo.

And what I am getting at with my post is that the low MT to KT range makes no sense when you look at a lot of the shown feats, even the games support me in some cases.

Quakomaniac@ Not really, you can see some of what I posted above. Still, the shows are good.

F is just before the Covenant ship jumps off the bow of teh Commonwealth in TFoR. So between Pg. 100 and 110. Also note that Spartans could chase after the Covenant ship that was moving at 100,000 KPH.

G is from FS when they are in the Slipspace bubble fighting the Covenant fleet.

On the Super Cruiser, the AJ-type ship was shown in GoO during the battle above the second ring to lose power to most systems as I recall. The weapon just appears to be a massive power hog. On the 5 shots, are you talking about when it took out the 5 UNSC ships? Because that was just one shot that took out all 5.

The only reason I support the TT yields is because of the Encylopedia and what the Covenant can do with a full scale glassing.

I would be happy with the low GT yields for the Ship MAC since that would also fit with the 50 GT SMAC. Also, sorry for any spelling errors, but my PC is a bit slow right now so I can't really go back and check at this time.

Ok so anyway, with regards to the supernova to begin with, did they ever mention how long that supernova had been unfolding? A large star exploding is a danger to everything in a very wide radius. It's not that improbable. Red matter is a plot device, yes, oh well. It was a good movie regardless. Low MG to KT range makes perfect sense too. Think of this. Is it not indeed true that a 30 megaton HAVOK warhead will drop most ship shields? How in the world could you then require multi gigaton MAC shells? Not to mention, the MAC round directs ALL its energy upon one target. Energy from a nuclear explosion is dispersed spherically from the point of detonation. Most of it will not hit the target ship. As for ships going whatever speed, 80 million kph you seem to indicate, its space. The ships are in continuous motion all the time. I seriously doubt they ever come to a full stop. Plus, 80 million kph relative to what? I can't verify the part from first strike, I don't have the book with me. As for the supercruiser and 5 beams... go read the book again. It is definitely stated it's 5 beams. I DO remember that. As for the glassing business supporting the TT yields... please give me a calculation to back that up. Quakeomaniac 14:18, January 27, 2010 (UTC)

The variances in MAC energies and Nuclear energies with respect to completely destroying shielded vessels could be explained by the properties of Plasma shields. The problem seems to be with why high energy MAC rounds do not penetrate the shields of a Covenant vessel while relatively low yield Nuclear devices seem to completely annihilate the vessel, despite problems such as the ship moving relative to the detonation, the inverse square law and Irradiance. The thing about plasma, is that the more energy you pump into it, i.e. the more it becomes ionised, the more viscous (thick) it becomes. This has the effect of impeding the movement of matter through it. So if the Plasma shield around the Covenant vessel is of sufficient energy, then ARCHERS and MAC rounds will be stopped. So why does those nuclear explosions have such an effect? It is because plasma shields do not stop particle beams and EM radiation. As someone pointed out above, in a vacuum, there is no gas, so therefore there is nothing to absorb the energy from the thermonuclear reaction. In an atmosphere however, most of this energy becomes thermal when it is absorbed by various gases, creating, like someone stated above, a fireball. All energy is therefore released as EM radiation in a vacuum which would penetrate the shields and hit the ship. The fact that EM rays travel so fast with respect to the ship (c) makes the ships motion , and therefore the inverse square law, negligible. EMP would also get through. Read this also. I may be missing other factors, however, someone on the Shield discussion page gave a very plausible explanation as to how exactly shields work and how plasma is so effective against them. --Anton1792 23:02, August 6, 2010 (UTC)

MAC yields[edit]

I'm setting this up because I want people to find the relevant data quickly enough without having to read through those long posts. So in a clear, concise manner, could someone please tell me what the yield of a MAC blast is, because the 50 kiloton range that's pasted on the page is simply pathetic not to mention inconsistent with the data the pertains to the 600 ton projectile moving at 40% the speed of light and a measly 50 kilotons is the yield?--Zervziel 04:13, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

The Encyclopaedia had it at 1.17 teratons, Halo: FoR had it at 1.17 gigatons and user calculations had it at 58 kilotons. Teratons is far too unrealistic, whereas gigatons is far more acceptable and the user calculation is questionable. Oh, note that this applies only to the standard MAC. {insert name here} 04:44, March 13, 2010 (UTC)

First off, sorry for this being in the wrong topic area. Doing this from my phone and don't want to scroll thru all that. Plus I don't want to mess any formatting up. Anyway, a theory about shields that I've heard is that shields are made up of either alternating layers of magnetically held hot and cold plasma, or that they are made up of a single layer of cold plasma. This would explain why weapons-based plasma - which is very hot - would be more effective against shields, as it would burn through them like butter, while a single cold slug would flatten against them (plus it explains the term "buckling"). We know that ship-based plasma weapons are controlled magnetically, so they have the projectors. What do you think? Zero-G_Mako aka Orodum 02:42, March 15, 2010 (UTC)

Except the MAC slugs aren't cold at all. In fact they're rather hot. As for the shields, that really makes no freaking sense. Cold plasma wouldn't stop a MAC slug.--Zervziel 05:24, March 15, 2010 (UTC)

I just wanted to add this because I think it's probably the best way to prove that 1.17 teratons is completely retardedly impossible. We know that halo vessels use deuterium/tritium fusion reactors to power their systems. If you look it up, a single reaction produces 17.6 MeV of energy, but only 3.5 of that is really usable (the rest is a neutron that isn't of much use). If you crunch some numbers, you find that to generate 1.17 teratons worth of energy would require about 80,000 tons of fuel. So... if we believe the marathon class masses a hundred thousand tons, that must mean it can shoot at most once and 80% of its mass is fuel. Unlikely, and stupid. Conclusion: MAC shells have nowhere near that much power, more likely is a few hundred kilotons, low megaton max. This debate has gone on forever I know it, but hopefully this is enough to prove the encyclopedia wrong. If you want realistic numbers, go read Mass Effect's codex (for those who play it.) Quakeomaniac 20:43, April 22, 2010 (UTC)

Note on kinetic energy calculations[edit]

I noticed that both in the main article (as a footnote) and in here people are calculating the kinetic energy of the projectiles. I won't bug you with more calculations, just one simple note. If a body's speed is a significant fraction of the speed of light, it is necessary to use relativistic mechanics to calculate its kinetic energy. The equation used here and in the article was cited as
Ek = (1/2)*m*v2
Whereas, since the projectiles are moving at a significant fraction of the speed of light, you need to use
Ek = (m*c2)/(sqrt(1 - (v/c)2)) - m*c2
I'll leave the math to the rest of you, but rest assured, it makes a significant difference. --Z.S.-- 07:04, August 11, 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure there was little actual science used to arrive at that figure... I mean seriously? 1.17 teratons? It's obvious that the writers came up with the idea in one of their meetings to incorporate the "117" meme into the article by kludging together a set of figures that would sound impressive. Unfortunately they used the wrong equation to do it, because they're writers, not physicists. DJenser 13:24, 27 July 2012 (EDT)


Should we have a separate article for railguns, seeing as they're featured in at least a couple of different instances; the twin side guns on UNSC Frigates, the LRG Rail Gun on the Wolverine and the base turret. Just so that there would be no confusion between railguns and MACs, plus, we have articles on less significant subjects. --Jugus (Talk | Contribs) 15:20, August 16, 2010 (UTC)

We should. Railgun and Coilgun are two different mechanics/operation of fire. For basic info to others about the differences between coilgun and railgun, see this. - 5əb'7aŋk(7alk) 15:29, August 16, 2010 (UTC)
I also think creating a railgun article would be prudent. Like Jugus said, the UNSC use railguns quite extensively. Yeah, there's the Cobra and the automated turret. However, if a mere frigate has five pairs of twin-linked railgun turrets, larger vessels would likely have more. Although they obviously aren't the kind mounted on frigates, the Spirit of Fire's deck guns look much more like huge railguns than MACs. I think the UNSC's use of Gauss-style weaponry tends to overshadow their use of railguns. --"Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have." -Thomas Jefferson 15:48, August 16, 2010 (UTC)

Just sayin....[edit]

Since when did the standard MAC go from 1.17 gigatons to 1.17 teratons? That 1000 times stronger and about enough energy to kill every living thing on this planet. And as far as im conserned, the UNSC shot the Forerunner Keyship multiple times and not really anything died...and if one of these hit a Covenant ship the shields wouldnt really help much since the ship and others would be vaporised. Dont get me started on the SMAC...what Im saying the yield should be in gigatons not teratons.

Omgsauce 20:07, August 22, 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the Encyclopedia messed up the figures. The standard yield went from 1.17 gigatons to teratons and the velocity from 0.4% (or 4%, not sure) to 40% the speed of light. Numbers like that don't really make sense, considering that would make the MACs far more powerful than anything the Covenant has, and would require Covenant shield technology to be ridiculously powerful to withstand a MAC impact. --Jugus (Talk | Contribs) 19:30, August 22, 2010 (UTC)
"Since when did the standard MAC go from 1.17 gigatons to 1.17 teratons? That 1000 times stronger and about enough energy to kill every living thing on this planet." Not to dig up a dead thread, but it should be noted that the yield of a MAC round is about 1% of the energy generated by the asteroid that helped wipe out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago... Even so, that impact, by itself, wasn't enough to wipe out all life, but with the addition of other, smaller impactors striking other areas, & the bow shock of the initial impact triggering massive volcanic eruptions in India which lasted some 800,000 or so years, it still only managed to kill off less than 20% of all families of organisms in existence. Another factor to consider is that, while it wasn't traveling at near-relativistic speeds, this meteor was nearly 7 miles in diameter and had enough mass and velocity to cause significantly more environmental damage than a single MAC round, or even a SMAC round. As was demonstrated by the 3 frigates that fired on the Keyship in the Halo 3 level "The Storm", even multiple volleys of MAC rounds weren't enough to cause more than localized damage to the surrounding area because they lacked sufficient mass of their own to impart more energy to their impacts.DJenser 12:54, 27 July 2012 (EDT)

Encyclopedia figures[edit]

Could we all agree that since the MAC velocities given in the Halo Encyclopedia don't make any sense and are contradicted by other sources, we can just ignore them? We've done that with a lot of other errors in the book, yet the "40% the speed of light" one keeps persisting here. The problem is, a velocity like that is quite literally impossible if we are to believe what we've seen in the fiction so far. The MAC's effects on Covenant vessels are proof that the rounds simply can not be traveling at relativistic speeds. For example, in Reach, an orbital MAC gun fires a round through a Covenant corvette. If the round was traveling at the speed presented by the Encyclopedia, the corvette would've been pulverized and the impact on the ground would've likely caused a planetary-scale disaster. That alone is enough to confirm that the figures in the Encyclopedia can't be valid. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the makers of the Encyclopedia took that figure from Halopedia like they clearly did with countless other things, resulting in many of the errors.

Also, just for clarification, is "point four-tenths" 4% or 0.4%? The smaller the figure is the more it makes sense here. --Jugus (Talk | Contribs) 09:19, 21 October 2010 (EDT)

For the reasons you have stated, and the general f*cked-upness of the Encyclopedia, I agree that we REALLY should ignore those figure.Infernal-Blaze 15:26, 31 October 2011 (EDT)

Also, isn't "point four-tenths" really 0.04%? Four-tenths is 0.4, right? So Point four-tenths is 0.04, correct? ScaleMaster117 (talk) 16:53, 9 June 2013 (EDT)

Apologies for bumping an old discussion. As per above comment, which one is correct? — Hacame 11:11, 30 July 2013 (EDT)

MAC velocity[edit]

I got a question. I've re-read Fall of Reach and the 30 km figure comes for a Frigate. No where else does it say a MAC fires at 30 km for Cruisers or Destroyers (though they are likely the same). We know the length of a Frigate MAC, and if the Halcyon-MAC is considerably bigger and longer than the Frigate's. Should not the 30 km figure apply only for the Frigates while Cruisers fire the rounds faster? —This unsigned comment was made by ‎Lord Hierarch (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

I interpreted Commander Keyes' opinion in the beginning of Chapter 16 as to imply that there is only one standard MAC system and that it functions the same (i.e. the same velocity) in all ships (the way he "reminded" critics that a destroyer sports two MACs whereas a frigate could only sport one). Also, Lt. Hikowa commented that the Autumn is able to fire three shots in a single charge because of the booster capacitors attached to the weapon, not because of the Autumn's classification or of its size.— subtank 12:48, 19 July 2012 (EDT)
Well a Destroyer isn't that much bigger than a Frigate. Presumably they would use the same type of MAC. MAC size. Length. What I meant for the Autumn was that if the 30 km is only for the Frigates and Cruisers fire their rounds faster than 30 km, then the Halcyon would fire rounds with a bigger yield. Lord Hierarch 20:22, 19 July 2012 (EDT) Lord Hierarch
Maybe. I'll amend the article accordingly.— subtank 19:33, 26 July 2012 (EDT)

Mini Mac on the Mammoth should be added to the railgun section[edit]

I know they call it the minimac in the game but its not a coilgun its a rail gun which operates on completely different principals.. Just my opinion —This unsigned comment was made by Spartan Matt (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

If the guide refers to it as a miniature MAC, or more accurately, coilgun, then it stays a coilgun. --Xamikaze330 (talk|contribs) 01:03, 12 November 2012 (EST)Xamikaze330

You hear Cortana call it a rail gun in-game, though.Spartan Matt 21:40, 13 November 2012 (EST)

It's a common mistake that happens all the time in popular culture. --Jugus (Talk | Contribs) 00:53, 14 November 2012 (EST)

Sorry Folks Teratons is canon[edit]

Even the most recent reprint of the Encyclopedia states the teratons is canon.—This unsigned comment was made by ‎Councilor 'Rumilee (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

That's like saying the Pillar of Autumn is a frigate as (re)confirmed in the recent version of Halo 4.— subtank 18:03, 19 February 2014 (EST)
The Encyclopedia reprint still retains the bulk of the original's errors. Anything in that book should be applied with extreme discretion, and only if it doesn't contradict with anything else. It's safe to say the ridiculous MAC yields are not one of those things. --Jugus (Talk | Contribs) 23:16, 19 February 2014 (EST)

That's not an error though. The two MAC round measures are in line with each other (.4c for ship mounted ones and .5c for SMACs) I don't like it, but most recent canon figures outrank old ones. Although I don't like that it says teratons, I do prefer that the SMACs are only around 8-9 times more powerful than ship mounted MACs rather than thousands and thousands of times more powerful. Its even a 117 reference, 1.17 teratons. That seems to be an intentional measure. Councilor 'Rumilee (talk) 11:06, 20 February 2014 (EST)

The FoR provides that ship-mounted MAC (for Paris-class frigates as of 2525) fires slugs at 30 km-per-second. This figure was bumped to .4c (or 40% of the speed of light) in the Encyclopaedia, despite what was stated in the novel. Oddly enough, FoR also provides that orbital SMAC fires slugs at "point four-tenths the speed of light" (of which the community interprets as .04c or 40% of the speed of light). This figure was bumped to .5c (or 50% of the speed of light) in the Encyclopaedia, despite what was stated in the novel. The initial figures/yields are retained in the 2010 reprint of FoR, contrary to what was stated in the Encyclopaedia.
When there is inconsistency between material sources, it is up to the editors to reasonably decide which source is correct and why the other is incorrect. Personal preference aside, it is obvious that the Encyclopaedia was wrong in its figures/yields. A glaring error. Then again, it's not surprising: the content in the Encyclopaedia has been acknowledged to be a mess even by 343i staff.— subtank 12:35, 20 February 2014 (EST)
Although it's awkward phrasing, "point four tenths" would be 0.04% or 4%, not 40%. A tenth is 1/10 or 0.1. Point-four is 0.4. Four tenths is also 0.4. But, "point 4 tenths" is moving the decimal two places to the right. Again, awkward phrasing, Nylund... -ScaleMaster117 (talk) 12:54, 20 February 2014 (EST)

Halo Encyclopedia MAC recharge time?[edit]

Does the Halo Emcyclopedia say anything about recharge time of a teraton MAC? Because it could be for several days for all we know. —This unsigned comment was made by Oni execute order 66 (talkcontribs). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

Firstly, please don't add comments to archived talk pages. Discussion takes place on the current pages, archived pages are to remove clutter without deleting previous discussions.
Secondly, if you're referring to the high output weapons like on the Cairo, Athens and Malta, we've established that the firepower involved is simply impractical, the result of an error somebody made. The actual output would be in the gigatons range. Secondly, I doubt it. The Cairo had an extremely high rate of fire, estimated at one round every thirty seconds, or two rounds per minute (if memory serves, those figures might be off though). I also doubt that rate of fire is related to how much damage it can do, especially when it's linked to a ground-based generator facility. A big enough generator can allow an enormous rate of fire, like what we see over Earth in Halo 2. The only limit would be maintenance for the magnetic rails/coils. Not to mention that UNSC MAC technology got a shot in the arm when they equipped the Pillar of Autumn with an improved system - by now, those improvements could/should be fleet-wide. -- Qura 'Morhek The Autocrat of Morheka 20:13, 9 March 2014 (EDT)
Not certain what you mean here. Cairo Station was observed firing MAC rounds in 5-second increments, full load to fire time to recharge. -ScaleMaster117 (talk) 22:09, 9 March 2014 (EDT)
These are the tricks that memory plays on you when you haven't been able to play the game for years. Thanks for the correction. -- Qura 'Morhek The Autocrat of Morheka 04:09, 10 March 2014 (EDT)
No trouble, was just confused. From loading to firing is 5 seconds I believe. Then another five to recharge to fire again. I extracted the audio sequence for a full firing and pieced them together for a future article about Cairo Station. If I could link it to some Flash animation it would be sweet but I'll see where I'm at then. -ScaleMaster117 (talk) 07:10, 10 March 2014 (EDT)

Super MACs AND Series 8 mac guns[edit]

One more thing that needs to be added to the supermac section is that the Punic Class Super Carriers are armed with Supermacs as well two of them to be precise and also does anyone know which is more powerful the series 8 macs of The infinity or Super Mac platforms. I believe its the series 8 Macs as they seemed to be the only mac guns that did damage to mantles approach but I could be wrong. Can Supermacs rounds go clean through an covenant assault carrier and super carrier as well


Firstly, I would encourage separating the bulk of this edit as a note at the bottom of the page. Secondly, we don't know that the UNSC hasn't simply found found some way to offset the effect. This is five hundred and forty years in the future, in a fictional universe, and it would hardly be the most outlandish scientific claim in this universe. -- Qura 'Morhek The Autocrat of Morheka 01:50, 19 December 2015 (EST)

Hi. I made that edit. Three things:
  • One, it is in a note at the bottom of the page.
  • Two, none of the tech displayed by the UNSC would allow us to logically infer that they can somehow ignore hypervelocity physics. You can't offset the effect; this would require them to be literally magic, with the ability to alter the laws of physics on the spot, a la the prime Flood. Either that or UNSC coilguns actually use eezo from Mass Effect and encase each slug in a mass effect field of blue space magic, which is also never suggested anywhere; we know how MACs work, they're just coilguns which fire tungsten slugs. Even if they could somehow make their slugs behave like non-hypervelocity projectiles, which they can't, all that would do is decrease effectiveness, not increase it; a squash, vaporization, and "explosion" causes more damage than a clean penetration.
  • Three, it's not just the lack of hypervelocity impacts that suggests a velocity significantly lower than 30 km/s; TFOR:TAS, Halo 2: Anniversary, and Halo Reach, among others, all contain scenes of MACs being fired with velocities of only a few km/s at most, and Halo: First Strike even refers to a typical MAC slug as "supersonic" (between Mach 1 and Mach 5). This can all be handily explained away by one simple extrapolation that fits with what we see and what we're told about how the MAC actually operates.

-- 21:52, 19 December 2015 (EST)

I didn't notice the fact that it was already in the notes, I just read through the edit comparison, so I do apologise. And I have to reiterate, while your explanation makes perfect sense, this is a fictional universe set in the future, created largely by people who are not experts in these fields. I would ask for clarification on this point from an official source - GrimBrother, or Catalogue, for example. -- Qura 'Morhek The Autocrat of Morheka 23:32, 19 December 2015 (EST)
Actually, Eric Nylund has a master's degree in chemical physics, so he actually does know what he's saying. You could just write it off as an error, but again this shows up in four separate books (TFOR, GoO, First Strike, and Evolutions) written years apart by a guy who probably knows what a hypervelocity impact looks like, and it's supported by other comments in those books such as MAC slugs being referred to as "supersonic". So I'm extremely skeptical of the idea that no one involved in the creative process had any idea what they were actually writing (e.g., by writing a slug penetrating cleanly through the ship, Nylund was writing it as travelling at less than 1.7 kilometers per second). But even ignoring that, I don't think I'm making a leap here; it's not even really an extrapolation, now that I think about it, and is certainly far less of one than just declaring that hypervelocity physics don't exist in Halo with no evidence of such a thing. Slugs fired from coilguns which explicitly have the ability to dial down velocity (based on the Reach commentary) in exchange for a faster firing rate (seen in TFOR, where they can be fired with less than 100% power), are repeatedly seen being launched at speeds far below their potential maximum (the tungsten slugs not vaporizing on impact puts a hard limit on their velocity, even ignoring all visual scenes of MACs being used). Simple reasoning based on their known capabilities then dictates that, if the slugs are going at below their maximum speed, and the guns are firing one every few seconds, then less power is being put into each shot. If anything it seems more questionable to just list the 30 km/s velocity as their standard velocity without also noting that, beyond a single occasion in TFOR, slugs never travel that fast anywhere (well, besides the Encyclopedia :D), either in the books or in visual media (games, movies). Similarly, outside of one battle, MACs never seem to need that much time to recharge their shots...

I don't actually have an account with which I could contact GrimBrother or official 343 employee, and would prefer not to make one with the sole intent of asking a single lore-related question. If someone else could ask one of them "when MAC slugs visibly trail across the screen at a few km/s rather than 30 km/s (as they did in that one scene in TFOR), and behave like projectiles traveling at perhaps 1 km/s rather than hypervelocity (in all battle scenes in the books), and don't take several minutes to get out a second shot, is that because the MAC gunners are just firing with less than 100% charge in exchange for a faster firing rate, or did Nylund + his editors + all the animators just make the same mistake several times?", that would be appreciated!-- 03:42, 20 December 2015 (EST)

What Morhek said. It seems unnecessary for us to include these kind of notes, or else one might ask why we don't include ones on the Sangheili page about bipedal convergent evolution or the slipspace page nitpicking other violations of the speed of light barrier. Tuckerscreator(stalk) 02:41, 20 December 2015 (EST)

This would make sense if a slug was actually said to be traveling at 30 km/s and failed to act like a hypervelocity impactor. However, that never happens. The note is not pointing out how an aspect of the game/novel isn't consistent with the laws of physics. It's simply noting that, while the MAC is capable of propelling the slug to 30 kilometers per second by taking several minutes to charge, it almost never does. The note than notes why this is by citing the lore within the same book. By this logic, this page shouldn't list the TNT-equivalent yield of any of the MACs, because "maybe the formula for kinetic energy is different in this universe".-- 03:42, 20 December 2015 (EST)
I'm not slighting Mr. Nylund's credentials. And I conceded that your scenario is entirely plausible. But my major point was that unless we can get it confirmed by a reliable source, tt amounts to us making assertions that, however likely, may not be true. There are other Halopedia members who have accounts on Halo Waypoint, and I know for a fact that Grim peruses the HBO forums, so I'm sure we can raise the issue in time for a cannon fodder - though given how busy the season is going to be in the coming weeks, I wouldn't hold my breath for an answer until the new year.
Edit: I posted on the HBO forum, asking for some clarification. It just remains to be seen if Grim will decide to answer it.
It's not from Grim, but I got a very good counterpoiunt from one of the HBO forumgoers. I'd recommend you read it. -- Qura 'Morhek The Autocrat of Morheka 06:36, 20 December 2015 (EST)

MACs At Given Velocities Useless Outside Super-Close Range[edit]

My main problem with the current given velocities for MAC guns on the main page (30 km/second for smaller ships, etc.) is the given in this copy-paste of the same argument I made on TV-Tropes' Halo Headscratchers page: "But the "old" measurements currently on the site make no sense for space combat! You're telling me ships fire rounds that only go 30km per second? In space battles, which should routinely take place on scales of tens of thousands of kilometers? For a Covenant ship 30,000 kilometers away, it would take a MAC round (30,000 divided by 30 equals...) 1000 seconds - over 16 and a half minutes - to reach its target! Whereas the 120,000 kilometers-per-second shot given by the Encyclopedia would take only a quarter of a second." Basically, if the low-end velocities currently accepted as "canon" were true, they'd make MACs all but useless at anything more than (to borrow a phrase from the Mass Effect Codex) "knife-fight" range. Anything more and a Covenant ship would have more than enough time to see and avoid the incoming projectile, would have moved significantly from the position it was at when the shot was fired, etc. Even the Super-MACs, firing shells at 12,000 km/second, would take a good 2 1/2 seconds to hit a target 30,000 km distant, whereas being fired at .5c would hit in 0.2 seconds.