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Q: Could the “proton torpedoes” in Star Wars be a thing?
Physicist: If you’re a fan of Star Wars you may remember proton torpedoes from Episode IV as the only weapon that, when fired down an exposed thermal exhaust port on the Death Star, would “…start a chain reaction which should destroy the station.“, because obviously “The shaft is ray-shielded, so you’ll have to use proton torpedoes.“. According to the perfectly named Wookieepedia, proton torpedoes release clouds of high energy protons on impact. Incidentally releasing clouds of protons, because that’s what’s in clouds of anything, is clearly not the idea behind proton torpedoes nor the spirit of this question. So a proton torpedo with a one gram payload does a heck of a lot of damage just by existing. So “proton torpedo” may just be a code name like “tomahawk missile” (noteworthy for its lack of tomahawks).
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