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Beware the Phaser’s Maximum Setting, Because Science

Everything in our best science fiction is more advanced, from the ships to the computers to the weapons. With sci-fi weapons specifically, it’s not just their designs that are forward-thinking; the way they dispatch enemies is just as futuristic. The most powerful among them, like the classic Star Trek “phaser,” can completely vaporize targets in a flash of light and puff of smoke. But almost no science fiction has shown you just how dangerous and horrendous vaporizing someone would actually be, so I will—that’s today’s prime directive.

In my latest episode of Because Science, I’m shedding light on the fact that a scientifically accurate vaporization wouldn’t be just a flash of light. What vaporization actually does is right in the name. It turns the matter of the target into vapor or gas. If that’s the case, what would really happen to a human if you vaporized them is nowhere near as neat and tidy as Star Trek always portrayed it. Think more… chunks…

After you watch the new episode, check out my last video on everything you need to know about the Predator, buy a Because Science shirt, mug, hat, or collectible pin, and follow me on Twitter or on Instagram to give me a suggestion for the next episode. Want Because Science even earlier? Subscribe to Alpha for access to the show two full days before anyone else.

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