PE weapons are MI derived technology and their exact workings are the matter of much debate in the TechnosphereAll the Habitats contained within the system of 'Governance Of Technology' laws.. The simplest theory for the effects of this weapon is that the target either expands and falls apart or melts, sometimes doing both and sometime doing so extremely rapidly and almost explosively.
It is believed that PE weapon fire a toroid of plasma that induces rapid entropy in the target upon impact. Exactly how this occurs is unknown with speculation that the plasma toroid contains nanobots, time distortion devices and a multitude of other theories from the sublime to the ridiculous. What are known are the deadly effects of these weapons:
A hit from a PE weapon typically results in a rapid breakdown of the targeted substance along with the possibility of an entropic explosion – an explosion in which the reactants undergo a large change in volume without releasing a large amount of heat. The results of such an explosion are universally deadly to living matter and almost as universally fatal to inanimate matter.
Where an entropic explosion does not occur then there is marked degradation to the integrity of the target substance and usually a very large amount of heat given off. The likelihood of which effect occurs is seemingly random, however, the massive variation in effect makes it extremely hard to counter in any form of armour. Composite heavy armours with molecular-induction-bonding and thermo-dumping are the most resistant but the level of protection they offer is still rather limited.
Due to the possibility of “burn-through” (the passing of the entropic reaction from the surface material to those underneath it) the wisest course of action if you survive the initial impact is to instantly discard any material that is showing entropic effects. The similarity to acid burning through one material to the one underneath is the best analogy for those who have not encountered this type of weapon.
PE ammunition is extremely unstable and accidents of an extreme nature have occurred with alarming regularity even within the supposed UTQ environment of the GOTA. Storage of ammunition without UTQ knowledge and assistance is widely considered as suicidal and even GOTA teams only store small amounts of ammunition in any one place at any one time, subject to strict inspections and given a lifetime after which they must be discarded
The extreme lethality of these weapons, their complicated production and extreme Maintenance TQ requirements mean they are the most heavily restricted weapons in production anywhere in or outside of the TechnosphereAll the Habitats contained within the system of 'Governance Of Technology' laws..
T-PEA and GoT-DF forces are the only ones likely to be found using them, although some scavenged from battlefields do occasionally turn up elsewhere, however with the storage of the ammunition being so dangerous they are usually kept as “trophy weapons” without any ammunition and there is also a thriving market in fake PE weaponry.
The most common version of PE weapons is the PE-Canon, which works in much the same way as a flame-thrower by spraying entropic-plasma over a limited area. It is hazardous to all materials, doubly so to an electronic systems as it induces a field similar to that of an EM-field during the entropic degradation phase, thus even where it may not destroy electronics it may render then inoperable.