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Recently i've become quite fond of really fluffy battle reports and one thing me and a mate had an arguemnt about the other day was the definition of monomolecular. My arguemnt was that this implies being made of a single molecule so would in turn be microscopic and that a shurican weapon is initially a flamthrower but with shuricans instead of fire, is this the case or is there some piece of fluff i've overlooked/never heard of ? As i always see in battle reports ect of shuricans thudding or embedding into terrain even at the end of the old codex is had pictures of the shuricans depicted as the classic ninja idea i always though that the fact that they where so small gave them their penetrating ability. Any ideas ?
you cannot shoot my harliquins because beneath their mask is an idea and ideas are bulletproof
My understanding is that Shuriken weapons work more like railguns. They accelerate a single, molecule-thin shuriken as a projectile. It's a common sci-fi weapon concept, actually. If you ever play Shadowrun you'll learn all there is to know about something called 'mono-wire'.
It's not clear whether it's a single ridiculously large molecule or if 'monomolecular' is just a measure if the width. I tend towards the latter since sending out a cloud of metal particles would only put a nice layer of metallic dust on your target. Remember basic kinetics: force equals mass times acceleration. So if the individual projectiles are all microscopic with nothing holding them together as a single object, there is so little force behind them due to their low mass that they make a very poor weapon. Because of that, I would tend towards the explanation of a shuriken weapon firing a single projectile at a time rather than a cloud of microscopic ones.
Monomolecular is used to refer to two things normally :
Monomolecular edges (Really really sharp swords/knifes/any other edged and piercing weapon.), this doesn't imply that the rest of the blade is of a monomolecular thickness or made of a single molecule(which would be ridiculous.).
And monomolecular thickness, which is what Eldar's shurikens refer too, when fired the weapon "shave" slices of a monomolecular thickness, which in turn allow it to "slice" between the molecules of the opposing armor. It is more like a submachine gun than a flamer, it rely on firing a lot of relatively inaccurate projectiles who cause damage by slicing the target apart.
A projectile consisting of a single molecule would literally pass right through your target without doing much damage unless it hit something vital, it would probably hurt a fair bit, but the wounds entry and exit point would seal themselves instantly (avoiding blood loss), not causing big enough wounds to tear muscles or cut/break bones... Not to mention that due to a lack of mass it would quite literally be at the mercy of even the lightest wind and lack range due to both lack of a mass to resist gravity and an aerodynamic shape to use the air to get some hang time.
Basically : Eldar's shurikens are sized like the "classic" ninja ones, but consist of a monomolecular slice making them extremely sharp.
(Note : the same principles apply for the Harlequin's Kiss, Warp Spider's & Other web spinners and other monomolecular weaponry.)
I have always wondered the same thing. I assumed that by monomolecular it meant that the shurikens had monomolecular blades. Although thinking back over the description of how the guns work I guess it did actually mean the blades are 1 molecule thick all the way across. If you think about it, that means they are microscopic if viewed directly from the side and perfectly visible from above. Pretty sweet.
Anyway, what would a monomolecular wire be? A chain of molecules strung together? I don't know how effective that would be. I mean, it would be weaker than a spider web I would imagine... Also, wouldn't a 1 molecule thick shuriken be kinda floppy? How could it stay firm when it's practically 2-dimensional? Wouldn't it practically be like shooting aluminum foil at them, except it has a chance of causing a microscopic wound that heals almost instantly?
Last edited by Elendor; November 2nd, 2009 at 23:37.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but to be truly effective a cutting edge has to be wedge-shaped.
Last edited by Elendor; November 3rd, 2009 at 02:14.
You are correct that the sharpest blades are the ones that are sharpened so that the edge is round and not flat.
Also I'm pretty sure that it is the blade that is only a molecular wide. In my opinion the rest of the blade would have to be noticeably thicker so that is could work as a weapon. In the Guants Ghosts novel (I think the second one), Dan Abnet describes them as being large enough to see. The shaving off thing could simply be that they work like those fome disc shooting toys in as they shave of the next one in the stack.
Army's used: Space Wolves, Tomb Kings, High Elves, Tyranids, Tau and Eldar.
Monomolecular refers to the cutting edge, and is purely sci-fi in origin. At the present level of technology it is impossible to achieve, and even then, if somehow you managed to obtain a monomolecular edge, maintaining it would be a nightmare, because it would be insanely fragile.
A classic real-world example is the microscopic view of a brand new sharpened pin head.
Even the sharpest pin (which can break skin without you feeling it) has a rounded head at the microscopic level, this is because every time you get close to a "true" point, it breaks.
For a fictional example, Death of the Discworld (in Reaperman) spent a whole week sharpening a standard farm scythe to the point were he could use it to sever the thread joining the soul to the body. The process went from using a whetstone, to rough cloth, silk, spider-silk, and finally the air itself to sharpen.
That's how difficult it is to obtain a monomolecular edge.
Mysterious Member of the ANZAC Clan
Monomolecular could simply refer to 'constisting of one molecule'. This would make for a very hard projectile and is not necessarily small, just bloody difficult to make. Diamond is the classic example of this in real life.