Evangelion’s Positron Rifle, and Future Japan

Caution: This math may be wrong.

In episode 6 of Neon Genesis Evangelion, NERV borrows a positron cannon from a government research lab to deal with the latest threat. This cannon takes all of Japan’s power output, for 37 seconds, to charge the rifle for one shot. According to the CIA World Factbook, Japan produced 1.017 trillion kWh for the whole year in 2003.

1.017 trillion kWh per year/365 days/24 hours = 116 million kWh per hour

So, Japan produces 116 million kWh per hour. However, Makoto Hyuga states that it will take atleast 180 million watts to pierce the AT field of the angel Ramiel. Seeing as it takes 37 seconds to charge the rifle*…

180 million kW per 37 seconds * (3600 seconds / 37 seconds) = 17460 million kWh per hour

So, if my calculations are correct, the rifle would need 17460 million kWh to charge for an hour; unfortunately, this is quite a lot higher than the 116 million kWh per hour Japan produces, infact, it is 150 times more. So, if Evangelion’s Japan in the year 2015 is to be able to power the rifle, it needs to produce 150 times more power than 2003 Japan does.

* Counting from the ejection of the first shot’s fuse, to the pulling of the trigger for the second shot.

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Published in
Transmissions from the Little Blue Marble

Published March 4th, 2006


6 Responses

I watched the scene in Rebuild of Evangelion 1.0 where Japan’s entire power grid was all connected and funneled to the positron rifle platform. Temporarily disregarding numeric discrepancies, is it even physically possible to shunt that much electricity through so few power lines all to one location without something melting or exploding?

Oh yeah, btw, in real life, attempting to fire a positron beam in atmosphere would be like putting a grenade launcher up against a wall and firing it point blank.

It was implied they have something similar to room temperature super-conductors to move the electricity with. I mean, its Eva, you don’t question the giant robots, but you question the positron rifle?

116 million kW, or 1.16×10^11 W are available from Japan every hour. So, you need 180 million W, divide this by the # available, and you get the number of hours needed to draw sufficient energy from the grid. Multiply by 60mins/hr, again by 60s/min… and MY calculations say 5.586 seconds are needed to generate the required 1.8×10^8 W So, they were TOTALLY delaying in order to aim correctly.

There is a glaring error in your math. You quote Makoto Hyuga as saying that “it will take atleast 180 million WATTS”, but then you use 180 million KILOWATTS in your calculation.

You are off by 3 orders of magnitude right from the start. Hence, if we accept the rest of your calculations the actual needed power would be more like 17 million kWh per hour (btw, why kWh per hour? the “hour” unit cancels out so it’s simply kW), which is apparently well within Japan’s current capabilities according to your data.

But there is a problem with the second formula too, you are actually calculating as if 180 million kWh were produced in the time-span of 37 seconds, but the unit in the quote is not watt-hours, it’s watts.

So, instead of that formula, it comes down to a simple comparison between 180 million watts needed power vs 116 million kilowatts provided power, no further math needed (so basically only a tiny fraction of total Japan’s power would be needed to operate the laser).

And even if the laser was indeed 180 million kW, it’s still far from the 150x factor you calculated, it’s more like 1.5x (180kW/116kW), which looks quite realistic.

P.S. I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this entry… too bored I guess.

Well, actually, he does say 180 KW.
At least he does in the version I have, both subbed and dubbed.
Platinum version.

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