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Old July 21st, 2003, 09:34 AM
drsarh drsarh is offline
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Background (ignorable):
I recently moved out of the good old US of A (wife found a great job while I was in grad school, and hey - it IS Paris...) I have only recently discovered the existence of T20. Further degrading my existence is the loss of all of my old Classic Traveller and MegaTraveller tomes as a result of the move. Possibly my question has been answered elsewhere, or since I am working from the T20-lite (I have not yet found a source of the full book locally) it may be dealt with in the full rulebook. If it is dealt with elsewhere, then directions to the correct source are welcome! This leads me to the actual

What is the justification for the Gauss rifle having no recoil?

As I understand it, the Gauss rifle and it's near relative the EM rail gun use an intense electromagnetic field to accelerate a projectile to high velocity. Since the gun itself is the object that produces the accelerating EM field, the gun would experience the recoil. In the accelerator rifle, the slug is a small rocket (so it is the rocket exhaust that recoils), the snub pistol's muzzle velocity is low (so momentum p = m x v => low, but not zero, recoil) and laser weapons release a stream of photons with negligibly low momentum.

One might assume that the mass of the projectile is so low as to make the recoil from p = mv low. But then damage from it, also related to momentum, is also reduced.

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