A PPG (an acronym for Phased Plasma Gun) is a type of weapon that fires a bolt of energized, super-heated helium sheathed in an electromagnetic field and propelled by an opposed magnetic field. On impact, the plasma bolt dissipates and discharges its thermal and kinetic energy. When fired in an oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, the intense heat of the super-heated helium plasma projectile causes a distinctive optical distortion as it expands the air around it. PPGs are the sidearm of choice for most space-based fighting forces in Bab'lonin, as the plasma bolt is effective against organic targets and thin metals but will dissipate quickly when striking denser surfaces. This means that while in a pressurised environment, a stray shot will not cause a hull breach, as is the risk with Slugthrowers. Sustained fire will however burn though some thick metals but alloys with a high heat dissipation rate such as beryllium will simply ricochet the shot.