Science

The science behind the Lorentz Driver weapon from Destiny 2

In the fifteenth season of Destiny 2, Season of the Lost, players can earn a new Exotic-grade weapon by progressing through the Season Pass: the Lorentz Driver. This new linear fusion rifle may look like another sci-fi weapon powered by impossible energies and ridiculous technology. This is not necessarily the case this time, as the Lorentz Driver has his mechanics and his name rooted in real science. This is how the weapon breaks his interpretation of Lorentz’s force.

So first of all, we have to look at the force that is named after this weapon, the Lorentz force. Originally developed from a complete derivation by Hendrik Lorentz in 1895, the Lorentz force is the combination of electric and magnetic forces on a charged particle due to electromagnetic fields. This charged particle will only feel a force due to the magnetic field if it moves with a component of its velocity perpendicular to the field. If it moves parallel to the magnetic field, it experiences no force. The particles, or a single particle, guided by this force is influenced by the Center of Guidance, where all surrounding particles are aligned towards this point in space.

The sum of these two forces creates a force that we call the Lorentz force. This concept allows almost all modern electronic devices to work; Speakers, computers, and even railguns use the idea of ​​the Lorentz force as the main basis for how they handle electricity and magnetism. Particle accelerators and cyclotrons especially use the Lorentz force because of its circular shapes and how the force multiplies the velocities of charged particles, allowing them to collide and create new elements.

Charged particles experiencing the Lorentz force_Marcin Białek

An experimental example of the Lorentz force. (Image credit: Marcin Białek)

By looking at how the Lorentz Driver weapon works, we can break down the components of the mechanics and how they relate to the Lorentz force itself in a basic way. The Linear Fusion Rifle in the Destiny universe is a weapon that projects a super concentrated beam of elemental energy in a single shot, much like a sniper rifle but with much more piercing power.

The Lorentz Driver is a void element weapon, described in Destiny lore as an “absence” or “void” energy where energies can be negated. When players get a “Precision Kill,” or a headshot, a small black hole forms on a target, drawing in nearby enemies and then exploding in a blast of energy from the void. Random targets will also be highlighted by the weapon’s range system and will drop a little gold tag called telemetry data. When players collect three of these tags, they will earn a buff known as Lagrangian View.

When a singularity is formed from a Precision Kill, this is basically the “Guiding Center” of the Lorentz force that charges a particle and pulls things close to a common alignment. Since the weapon’s energy is zero and usually produces a vacuum effect when used, the fact that nearby objects tend to collapse on the energy of the vacuum makes sense.

Weapon Lorentz Driver in use in Destiny 2_Bungie

(Image credit: Bungie)

As long as the Lagrangian Sight buff is active, the Lorentz Driver will deal more damage and each kill, precision or not, will cause singularities to form. According to the weapon history entry from the game documentation, the rifle was possibly randomly built by the alien race known as the Fallen, or Eliksni, from “non-weapon parts”.

Applying the basics of the Lorentz force to the weapon makes it easy to see how everything works. The most basic functions of the weapon are similar to those of a real-life railgun, a type of cannon that uses magnetism and large amounts of electricity to propel a projectile at high speeds with the use of electromagnetic rails. The Lorentz force is applied to how the projectile of the weapon is propelled by applying a charge to a beam of energy.

When the weapon’s Lagrangian Sight is activated, it uses the basis of Lagrangian mechanics that adds to the weapon’s power and precision. When the Lagrangian is applied to the mechanisms of the weapon, you are interacting with the potential energy of the weapon and enhancing its accuracy in finding a vector within space, which explains why singularities form at any kill rather than a precision kill. .

While in the Destiny universe, weaponry and energy are dictated by the game’s own lore and the concepts of how everything works, it’s clear that the Bungie writing team did their homework in this case. The name of the weapon not only serves as a flavor, but is a simplified demonstration of a base of electricity and magnetism.

The brilliance of the weapon mechanics makes it not only an attractive weapon to use, but clever demonstrations of real-life electromagnetism show that Bungie’s attention to detail is unmatched. Destiny is not a super-precise world, but its roots in science and the use of world construction to give structure to how everything mixes allows for unique representations of real-life scientific concepts like this one. As the saying goes, any sufficiently advanced technology can be indistinguishable from magic.

If you’re looking for more sci-fi game content, check out our best Star Wars games guide, and if you’re looking to dive into VR space battles, we’ve got our best PSVR space game guide for you too. .

Play Destiny 2 Beyond Light on Xbox Game Pass

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