Magnetic projectile diversion is the principle of using intense magnetic fields to disturb the flightpath of physical firearm rounds. Often the disturbance is not enough to deflect bullets with enough reliability to turn what would otherwise be a hit into a miss, but can regularly render fatal shots not so.
Interference array EditThe interference relay is the most common manifestation of magnetic projectile diversion systems. Individual emitters (colloquially called 'magtags') equipped with mechanical (drills, claws) or chemical (adhesive) produce a strong, variable and repulsive magnetic field via magnetic monopoles - particles with only a magnetic north or south pole, not both. When multiple emitters are grouped together and set up to work in cohesion, the emitters become the nodes that dictate the edges of a spanning electromagnetic field
Any magnetic materials that pass through the relay are subject to the variable electromagnetic fields it produces. The reason for implementing varying fields instead of a monodirectional series is that the random disturbances it inflicts upon susceptible items can cause bullets to lose their spin or even start toppling (alongside the general path-altering effect a strong static field would have), greatly reducing their damage potential. Individual 'magtags' also exert a bullet-diverting influence, though without other nodes to work alongside the variable field will be projected spherically around the emitter antenna.
Magtag networks are preferrable over individual units because the well-contained spanning electromagnetic field means that nearby circuitry can still function, and communications are still possible. Individual magtags have the effect of jamming electronics and signals of nearby devices. The disturbance effect also impacts larger, non-projectile objects such as blades, however the EM field shifts occur so rapidly and one's arm has a stabilising influence on the weapon, such that the end result is the most weapons vibrate when exposed to an interference field.
A limitation of the interference relay is that it cannot possibly divert all forms of solid rounds. Projectiles that are too heavy - and thus have a lot of inertia, such as tank shells - will simply not be diverted by the interference relay. Similarly, rounds that travel to quickly to spend a sufficient time within the interference relay's area of effect will be barely diverted from their true course, meaning that sniper fire is a common response to forces protected by interference relays.
In situations where it is difficult or impossible to place a desired magtag - such as at a distance, or when under enemy fire - launchers are available to get around such issues.