Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race by Jeff Hecht

By Jeff Hecht

I first wrote approximately laser guns in 1976 in a piece of writing that used to be released within the October 1977 factor of Analog technological know-how Fiction. the object was once truth, yet a technology fiction journal appeared a suitable position for it then. Now that the President of the U.S. can discuss beam guns in lethal severe tones on nationwide tv, it sort of feels time for a extra critical glance. This e-book is predicated on my research of data i have accrued in years of writing approximately laser expertise. i have not had a safety clearance, and notwithstanding that limits the knowledge i've been capable of receive, it signifies that i will say issues that differently will be changed by way of [deleted]. i've been looking at the sector lengthy adequate to play "fill within the blanks" with censored govt records and to make average guesses of what a few of the [deleted]s initially stated. There are not any basic solutions right here, simply complicated technical and safety matters that deserve cautious research and which are vital to the way forward for our country and the realm. The protection matters raised within the latter half the e-book could seem extra rapid to the final reader, yet they're necessarily regarding the technological history laid in Chapters 4-9. in the course of the publication, i've got documented my assets up to attainable, whereas respecting the confidentiality of knowledge given in private.

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N. Stavroudis, "Comments on: On Archimedes' Burning Glass," Applied Optics 12, A16 (October 1973). 2. Siculus Diodorus, The Library of History (Davis, London, 1814), XXVI, xviii, quoted in L. Sprague de Camp, The Ancient Engineers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1974), p. 170. 3. L. Sprague de Camp, The Ancient Engineers (Ballantine, New York, 1974) p. 170. 4. These letters make fascinating reading and provide an enlightening example of how armchair theorizing can diverge from reality. In sequence of publication, they are: Albert C.

49-61; for an update to mid-1982, see "Laser Patent Litigation Reaches Crescendo," Lasers & Applications 1(2), 22-24 (October 1982). 15. T. H. Maiman, "Stimulated Emission in Ruby," Nature 187, 493 (1960); this remarkable 3OO-word description of a milestone in physics was rejected by the first journal to which it was submitted, Physical Review Letters, because the editors had decided there wasn't much significant going on in maser research. 16. Gordon Gould, private communication, during an interview I conducted for Omni (in preparation).

It seems easier to install a reflective 48 0 Chapter 3 aluminum umbrella to defend against laser attack than to protect against hostile terrorists equipped with bazookas. It's also worth noting that the price tag of a laser weapon system would be billions of dollars, far more expensive than equipping terrorists with bazookas and speedboats. The atmosphere provides much better protection against many types of lasers because it does not let their beams through. Air strongly absorbs the wavelengths emitted by hydrogen fluoride chemical lasers, many excimer lasers, and X-ray lasers.

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