Or more accurately, a 'plasma railgun' - which probably leaves you with more questions than answers.
Questions like "What's a railgun?"
Great question. A staple of sci-fi and video games, a railgun fires projectiles using a bloody powerful electro magnet. There's no explosion, no gun powder - just a "zing" and a hole where the target used to be.
"Who's got a railgun?"
Well, the US Navy has them on a few boats, while other suspects are NASA (for launching stuff into space) and the US Army. And some guy with the Reddit username NSA_Listbot, who's built one with a 3D printer. At home.
It looks like this.
Significantly, this is a portable railgun - which is insane. Because this is how big the US Navy's is.
This garage tinkerer has built a handheld miniature that can fire graphite, aluminium, tungsten and plasma projectiles at speeds of more than 560 mph.
The gun uses six capacitors, which deliver a whack of 3,000 kilojoules of energy into a projectile - like these copper-plated tungsten "bullets".
Here's what it looks like being tested...
As far as DIY projects go, this is one of the more impressive (and dangerous) you're ever likely to see.
We'll just stick to putting up shelving and making the occasional bird box.
[Via: Yahoo! Tech]