By Jeff Hecht
I first wrote approximately laser guns in 1976 in an editorial that used to be released within the October 1977 factor of Analog technology Fiction. the thing used to be truth, yet a technology fiction journal appeared a suitable position for it then. Now that the President of the us can speak about beam guns in lethal severe tones on nationwide tv, it sort of feels time for a extra critical glance. This ebook is predicated on my research of knowledge i have amassed in years of writing approximately laser know-how. i haven't had a safety clearance, and notwithstanding that limits the knowledge i've been capable of receive, it implies that i will be able to say issues that in a different way will be changed by way of [deleted]. i've been gazing the sector lengthy adequate to play "fill within the blanks" with censored executive records and to make moderate guesses of what a few of the [deleted]s initially stated. There are not any easy solutions the following, simply complicated technical and safety matters that deserve cautious learn and which are very important to the way forward for our state and the area. The protection concerns raised within the latter 1/2 the e-book could appear extra quick to the final reader, yet they're necessarily relating to the technological historical past laid in Chapters 4-9. during the ebook, i've got documented my assets up to attainable, whereas respecting the confidentiality of data given in private.
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Additional info for Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race
Another was closely related: because potential targets would be closer to the beam generator, the system could be smaller and hence more reasonable in cost. Thus, Chair Heritage was never a massive program. 2 million from the Department of Defense, miniscule indeed compared with the hundreds of millions of dollars spent over that interval on laser weaponry. , basic research) efforts because it did not seem likely to result in the near-term development of a weapon system. Both Seesaw and Chair Heritage were comparatively small programs because they were able to draw heavily on other efforts to develop large accelerators.
These fields, traditionally considered separate, are today lumped together because they share the common feature of producing an energy-containing beam that can be aimed at a target. Ironically, the least advanced beam weapon technology is also the oldest. At about the same time H. G. Wells was writing The War of the Worlds, Guglielmo Marconi was investigating the properties of radio waves. Increasingly powerful radio wave generators were built, first for wireless telegraphy and later for commercial radio broadcasting.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency commissioned the Rand Corporation study. A Swedish scientist reported detecting short-lived radioactive isotopes in the atmosphere, which he interpreted as possible indications of Soviet tests of a particle-beam generator. 44 Others questioned his interpretation and he is reported to have later decided that his observations did not agree with what would have been expected from the system described in Aviation Week. 45 Exactly what the Soviet Union is up to remains a mystery.