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A Phaser is an audio signal processor used to distort a signal by mixing a "dry," unprocessed signal with copy of itself filtered through an all-pass phase-shift network. The filtered signal destructively intereferes with the dry signal, and the effect is simmilar to that of a comb filter[?], notching out frequencies at fixed intervals up the frequency spectrum. In music, the effect can make vocals "pop" above the instrumental accomaniment, or can hide faults in the performance. In motion picture or television production, the effect is often used to imply that a sound originates from an artifical source (e.g. a computer or robot voice.)

A phaser is a fictional weapon most commonly used by personnel of the Federation in Star Trek. It emits a high energy beam. It can be hypothesized that "phaser" stands for PHoton Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. This would make it similar to a laser. However, the Star Trek Encyclopedia hypothesises that it stands for PHASed Energy Rectification.

A phaser at its lowest setting, stuns a victim. This would be similar to the effect caused by a tazer[?]. At its highest setting, the phaser kills the victim. This is characterized by vaporization. The stun setting on phasers have little or no effect on certain species, forcing the user to set the phaser to "kill" which ranges from simple fatally burning a target to vaporization. Phaser can also be used to heat rock for a heat source when necessary and also be adjusted for wide beam to simultaneously stun multiple targets.

Phasers can sometimes be set to overload. The exact procedure is unknown, but one can assume that some sort of feedback loop is established within the phaser mechanism. This causes the phaser to explode.

Other races have their own weapons. Romulans, for example, use disruptors.

See also: Weapons of Star Trek

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