Ever since we were kids, we've known that the day would come when lasers, phasers and disruptors would become the weapon of choice. Now it seems that, at some level, that day is at hand.
Los Alamos, America's famous ‘Can we kill them better/faster/more efficiently' centre has issued a statement that they have made a remarkable breakthrough with their FEL (Free Electron Laser) programme.
Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (LASER for short) has always struggled to get enough electrons interested in going the same way, at the same time, to do real damage.
However, the chaps (and chap-esses, no doubt) in New Mexico have designed an ‘injector' which will make it much easier to get the mega-watt laser beams necessary to stop Darth Vader's forces or evil in their tracks.
The US Office of Naval Research took time off from finding lint in their collective tummy buttons, to issue a statement saying something to the effect of “…it's really cheap to fire these things – which means we can shoot at anything – even missiles and planes – without worrying about the cost. Man, these lasers are so much more economical for killing things than actual missiles”.
No need to raise shields just yet though, testing won't start until at least 2016.
How will the US fund it's new laser project? Well Taiwan is thought to be ready with an order for ray guns if they'll stop Chinese fighter planes in mid air over the South China Sea.
KitGuru says: Probably cheaper for the US to carry on trading with China through Taiwan and making the need for weapons obsolete. It's safer. Honest.