LASER or light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.
Is simply, according to the Wikipedia, “A laser
is a device that emits light
through a process of optical amplification
based on the stimulated emission
of electromagnetic radiation
Although I never recommend Wikipedia as the definitive source, it is always a good starting point. So for more check out this link.
Star Wars, Star Trek and pretty much every science fiction story imaginable has introduced a laser as formidable future firearm or weapon system in general.
What’s interesting is that in film. Lasers are bright, loud and intensely powerful.
In reality, it takes an obscene amount of energy just to burn through a piece of wood.
Also lasers appear invisible and don’t make any noise.
Those space battle scenes would be pretty boring.
What crazy though, is that laser weapons are in fact becoming a reality. Below is Lockheed Martin’s press release about the recent testing of a new Laser weapon system, ATHENA.
Turning Up The Heat: Latest Evolution Of Lockheed Martin Laser Weapon System Stops Truck In Field Test
Demonstration Represents Highest Power Ever Documented by a Laser Weapon of its Type
BETHESDA, Md., March 3, 2015 – Lockheed Martin’s [NYSE: LMT] 30-kilowatt fiber laser weapon system successfully disabled the engine of a small truck during a recent field test, demonstrating the rapidly evolving precision capability to protect military forces and critical infrastructure.
Known as ATHENA, for Advanced Test High Energy Asset, the ground-based prototype system burned through the engine manifold in a matter of seconds from more than a mile away. The truck was mounted on a test platform with its engine and drive train running to simulate an operationally-relevant test scenario.
“Fiber-optic lasers are revolutionizing directed energy systems,” said Keoki Jackson, Lockheed Martin chief technology officer. “We are investing in every component of the system – from the optics and beam control to the laser itself – to drive size, weight and power efficiencies. This test represents the next step to providing lightweight and rugged laser weapon systems for military aircraft, helicopters, ships and trucks.”
The demonstration marked the first field testing of an integrated 30-kilowatt, single-mode fiber laser weapon system prototype. Through a technique called spectral beam combining, multiple fiber laser modules form a single, powerful, high-quality beam that provides greater efficiency and lethality than multiple individual 10-kilowatt lasers used in other systems.
ATHENA is based on the Area Defense Anti-Munitions (ADAM) laser weapon system developed by Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California, which has been proven in demonstrations against small airborne and sea-based targets. It incorporates the 30-kilowatt Accelerated Laser Demonstration Initiative (ALADIN) fiber laser developed by the company in Bothell, Washington.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.