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Ghostbusters Proton Pack

30 of the Coolest Movie and Television Gadgets

There’s a scene in Ghostbusters II in which Bobby Brown, in a cameo role as a doorman, asks the Ghostbusters if he can get a proton pack for his little brother. Egon shoots him down, commenting that they aren’t toys, and I like to imagine that exchange was a nod at the staggering popularity that Ghostbusters toys had experienced in the five years since the first film. I’m probably wrong, though.

The proton pack is an energy weapon designed by Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) and Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) to weaken and immobilize ghosts by polarizing their negatively charged energy using protons. The proton pack consists of a hand-held “neutrino wand” connected to a backpack-sized particle accelerator. In the 2009 Ghostbusters video game, Ray further elaborates on how they work, explaining that the energy in the proton stream helps to dissipate the psychokinetic energy that ghosts use to manifest themselves.

I need Egon to make a Twinkie metaphor to help me understand all that.

Star Trek Phaser

30 of the Coolest Movie and Television Gadgets

Even if you aren’t a Star Trek fan, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard the phrase “set phasers to stun” at one point or another. Phasers are energy weapons commonly used in Starfleet arsenals, both in personal combat and equipped on starships. Most of them are particle weapons that fire nadion particle beams.

Phasers have been a staple of Star Trek since the original 1960s television show and have since been either referenced or seen in just about every incarnation of the long-running sci-fi series. The power settings of a phaser can go so low that they merely daze a target while they can be turned up so high that anything caught in the beam will be disintegrated.

For the 2009 Star Trek reboot, the phaser’s functions were to reduced to simple “stun”and “kill” settings, with the barrel needing to be physically rotated to switch between the two. Who has time for that with the Borg breathing down your neck?

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