Are freeze-weapons possible?

In video games, freeze-rays show up all the time. I doubt that’s possible, but could any weapon be designed that could flash-freeze a human or other large animal at a distance?

I suppose you could carry a large tank of liquid nitrogen under pressure and spray it at your target. As it expands, it should chill anything in its path. Seems it’d be easier to just shoot the guy and stick him in a meat locker.

Trillions of projectile needles that penetrate the skin and open micro-wormholes to the cold dimension of ultimate darkness?
That seems like a lot of trouble just to kill someone.

You could also give him a withering glare. That should prove chilly enough.

A large animal no, because they don’t understand spoken language. But in most circumstances, if you just train enough conventional weapons on someone and then yell “Freeze!”, they will.

Just grab some ice-9, and shoot it at your victim. Find a calypso singer, and you should be set.

Actually what if you had ammo that was filled with compressed freon or ammonia that would burst after it enters it’s target. Enough of that oughta cause a lot of internal frost bite possibly death.

If you could find a way to allow the projectile to vent it in a controlled fashion, maybe - otherwise the expanding gas would just cause the victim’s body to explode.

Other challenges:
-You need to make the projectile big enough to contain a meaningful amount of compressed refrigerant
-But if it’s big, and it’s moving fast enough to penetrate a human body, that’s a heck of a lot of kinetic energy - what’s to stop it punching right on through, or turning the target into red mist?

I suppose the problem is that although you could make a heat-ray (High-powered infra-red torch), cold is the absence of heat, so you can’t radiate it in the same way. Maybe you could have a cannon which shoots out a sub-zero arctic-style wind?

If you could freeze someone this easy why don’t use this gun on other stuff like cooling my beer quicker or if you could really be bothered freezing some poler ice caps.

Chiefly because you can’t freeze things that way.

Also, any method you tried to use to refrigerate the polar ice caps would generate heat in addition to the heat it sucks out of the thing you’re trying to cool, so it would make the total system warmer, as a whole.

Fire Extinguisher.

What if we combined Staggerlee’s heat ray and the judicious reversal of time? It seems to me that a freeze-y ray might just be possible.

That might work, lets see:

-Start with a cold beer
-Turn the heat ray on
-Wait for the beer to warm
-Travel backwards through time
-Presto! the beer is now cold!

However, in order to enjoy your now(then?) cold beer in forward-moving time, you have to stop yourself turning on the heat ray and leaving the beer in place while it warms. I suggest you talk to your grandfather about this.

Can’t. I killed him.

I hope you remembered to have sex with your grandmother before you returned to the present.

Actually, when I’m going to drink a beverage while traveling backwards in time, I usually go with coffee. No point in sobering up by drinking beer.

Instead of a weapon, this would be far more useful to your local fire department.

So the fire fighters could dress up in tights and freeze criminals and then shatter their still living but immobile bodies as some sort of vigilante revenge fantasy? I think I’d prefer for them to hang out at the fire station waiting for something to catch fire so they’d be ready to put it out, thank you very much.

Helium-filled party balloons are pretty universal- why is it, exactly, that we can’t have a water balloon fight with liquid-helium-filled balloons?

Seriously though, actual effectiveness at cooling the target aside- if you did design an RPG-7 warhead filled with liquid nitrogen, how would you keep it cold? Carry a portable refridgerator with you into combat? (Hey, you could put your beer in it!)

Actually, a reading of the articles I just linked suggests the best approach would be a case of hollow warheads, a vacuum tank, and some sort of special hose for ‘charging’ the warheads immediately prior to launching them.

Now, what could you make the warhead casing out of? The casing would have to be rigid enough to maintain its shape through the shock of launch, in order to retain its aerodynamic properties; but also designed to burst in some fashion when it struck the target despite not being filled with explosive. Bonus points if you can come up with some way for it to ‘splash’ forward onto the target instead of back off of it.

How badly does it hurt to be struck by an rpg with, say, an empty warhead? Is there a danger of it just plowing through our unlucky involuntary cryogenics test subject?

What effect might LN2 have on a running internal combustion engine? Powered electronics?

Or is this approach totally pointless because even under ideal conditions, (e.g. walking up to the target with a vacuum flask and just pouring it on his head.) the amount of cooling provided to a human-sized mass by the (at most) liter or so of LN2 you might deliver to the target by rpg is negligible?

In which case, what barriers are there to using some other much colder coolant like liquid helium? I suppose the first would be that the grenade might immediately freeze to the launcher once charged, and shortly thereafter the operator’s hands to the launcher.