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"[Science fiction] is the one literary medium left in which we have a free hand. We can do any damn thing we please."
- Alfred Bester

Proton Pack  
  The business end of a mobile particle accelerator.  

Okay, there are no such things as ghosts. However, there are weapons that you might use to fight them; chief among these is the Proton Pack, a kind of particle-beam weapon, developed for the famous Ghostbusters.

"Why worry? Each of us is walking around with an unlicensed nuclear accelerator strapped to his back."


(Proton pack from Ghostbusters [Columia Pictures])

From Ghostbusters, by Harold Ramis.
Published by Tri-Star in 1984
Additional resources -

Just don't cross the streams (the particle beams). That would be "bad."


(From fast-rewind.com)

If you insist on seeing this as a merely fictional device - here's the scoop on the prop itself:

Proton packs were created by the prop department of Columbia Pictures. They are made of molded fiberglass shells on aluminium backplates (or "motherboards") bolted to military surplus A.L.I.C.E. frames. The basic shape was sculpted from foam and then a rubber mould was made of it, from which fibreglass shells were pulled. The "wand" had an extending barrel mechanism and the electronics were quite advanced for the time. They were then finished with various surplus 1960's resistors, pneumatic fittings, hoses and ribbon cable, as well as surplus warning labels and custom made metal fittings. The overall wieght of these props is said to be around 35lbs.
(From Ghostbusters [Wikipedia])

Particle-beam weapons are devices that accelerate subatomic particles or atoms to velocities near the speed of light, focused into a narrow stream. The energy of the weapon is the aggregate kinetic energy of the individual particles forming the beam. A lightning bolt, a flow of electrons, is similar to a particle beam. For those still keeping up with these weapons, there are two general types, classified by their use: charged particle-beam weapons (endoatmospheric use) and neutral particle-beam weapons (exoatmospheric use).

See Introducing the Particle-Beam Weapon for more information.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ghostbusters
  More Ideas and Technology by Harold Ramis
  Tech news articles related to Ghostbusters
  Tech news articles related to works by Harold Ramis

Proton Pack-related news articles:
  - Backpack Laser - Just Don't Cross The Streams
  - Ghostbuster Approach To Neutralizing WMD
  - Multimode Directed Energy Armament System

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