"This is a shield generator," Jameson said, holding up a cube about half a meter in length, "those movies you see don't display the real truth of shields, all those stupid consoles exploding every time the shield is hit."
"No, real shielding, that's different; Because each shield device is controlled on a wireless tight beam line of sight connection, the exploding console is effectively negated preventing the system from overloading in such spectacular displays the movies show. Red shirts everywhere sing the praises of this generator." He got a chuckle out of the class for that. Once the class calmed down he continued, "The energy used by the shield generator is pulled directly from the power source and fed into it through the connection here," he paused rotating the box to display the now standard data and power interface which consisted of two outward facing metal prongs, and two prong receptacles arranged in a square and projects a barrier around the object or ship to be shielded." placing the generator on the table.
"Each generator must be in physical contact with the metal framework of a ship to generate a proper defense shield. The generator uses the metal of the ship itself as a giant antennae of a sort. Multiple generators can be used to effectively layer shields on top of each other, this strengthens the overall barrier. However each generator adds a significant drain on the power system."
"Shields effectively limit the level of engagement at which a ship can participate since as shield strength increases the more impermeable from both sides it becomes. There isn't really such a thing as one way shielding. Anything that can get through a shield from one side can do the same from the other direction." he said seriously, then looking out into the class, "That's one part that those movies get right. To effectively render impotent an enemy shield ones weapons need to either drain the energy from the shield of the enemy ship to the point of collapse or use weapons that are capable of passing through the enemies shield by matching the shield. The more shields being generated the harder it is to attack through the shield. Another reason why most fighters use only a single shield generator."
"Additionally," Jameson said returning to the table with the device on it. "the location of the device within a ship can affect the relative strength of the shield to the outside of the ship. This is why the main shield generator is generally located somewhere near the center of the ship, and also where those movie writers got the idea of shielding specific to sections of the ship."
Pausing for a moment he turned to the board behind him and began talking, "There are several different types of shields that can be generated based on the configuration of the device."
"Pushers" He wrote on the board and turned towards the room of students, "Pushers continuously generate a shield directly at or above the surface of the object to be shielded then expand the shield outward until it either meets and reinforces a second shield or reaches the farthest distance the generator can maintain a stable shield then it collapses and reforms again. This cycle repeats indefinitely while in this mode."
He wrote 'Skins' on the board, "If the name isn't self explanatory Skins are a shield directly above the surface of the object or ship, and what the pushers start out as."
"Walls, or Spheres" He wrote on the board, "The basic traditional shields, most books and movies use this type, a solid generally unyielding barrier that stays at a set distance from the device. Or in a set physical location such as those that prevent explosive decompression of a ship while in space."
"And Spinners", he wrote that on the board, "Spinners are reminiscent of the dust devils and whirl winds you see occasionally see planet-side on a windy day. The shield is generated in a way that causes the field to rotate and flex as needed. The technique is relatively new, however it has been used to effectively deflect objects and energy weapons with minimal drain."
"From there on out shields types tend to be variations on the main theme."
"This is a custom generator," he pointed at the cube on the table, " in order to legally use it in a classroom environment it has been limited as to how powerful the shield can get. If the generator wasn't limited this way and assuming I had enough power available to use I could generate a shield capable of frying and repulsing any material attempting to pass through it."
Then he reached forward and fitted the box into a slot on the desk, and pressed it firmly in. He picked up a small cylinder about two centimeters in diameter and about seven centimeters long with several controls on it. This he pointed at the small opening on the box and pressed one of the buttons; the box lit up with an intricate pattern inlaid in its sides, which grew in intensity; Pulsed twice, and then faded to a dim glow.
He then walked around the desk, reached out in front of him and pressed, falling forward into visibly empty air. A glowing cyan static built up around his hands making the revealing the energy barrier."If we adjust a few settings on the field, such as frequency or wavelength," he pointed his hand holding the controller back at the box while keeping his other hand firmly on the field, he pressed a button and the color of the glow around his hand shifted through the rainbow blue, green, yellow, orange, and red and several shades inbetween. "Depending on the situation the barrier can shift the visible interference into non-visible spectrums." he pressed the button until the color of the barrier when dark red then blinked out, he quickly reversed back into the visible spectrum and settled on a bright green. "Go to far in either direction and the field can emit harmful UV or even microwave radiation. If we adjust the phase variation we can change how the shield reacts." He tapped a different button and the glow became a ripple spreading out from where his hand was. He adjusted again and the glow became a steady solid opaque color where he touched it. The class clapped appreciatively.
Jameson righted himself, walked back around the desk and disabled the generator with the remote. Then, he carefully disengaged the cube from the table power socket and set it under the desk. "Homework tonight will be chapter 2, read, and take notes. I'll be expecting a discussion over the material next session. Class Dismissed."
Afterword:I'm not quite certain where i'm going with this, however, if the inspiration hits me it may become the introduction to something larger, or at least a piece of something.