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The Jet Fighter Laser Cannon

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the back-of-the-shark-calculation dept.

The Military 464

fahrbot-bot sends in a Register piece about DARPA issuing the penultimate contract for what is intended to be a jet-mounted laser cannon. The Reg outdoes itself in a BOTEC involving downsizing to shark scale. "The US military will shortly issue a brace of contracts for 'refrigerator sized' laser blaster cannons. One of the deals will see a full-power ground prototype built which will be the final stage prior to America's first raygun-equipped jet fighter. ... If it scales down far enough, this would seem to put handheld HELL-guns within an order of magnitude of the striking power offered by conventional small-arms. A 9mm pistol bullet has about 750 joules muzzle energy: a 5kg portable HELL-ray weapon would put out this much energy in a blast less than a second long. ... A dolphin can carry a human being weighing up to 100kg along for a ride. A thoroughbred shark in good training can surely match this. Thus, we seem to be looking at practicable head-[laser] output in the 20-kilowatt range."

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Tags (4, Funny)

Shadyman (939863) | more than 4 years ago | (#30135966)

Ok, I see the obligatory "sharks" tag, but what about the "pewpewpew" tag?

Re:Tags (3, Funny)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136014)

I see your uid, but you get an obligatory "you must be new here". All aircraft-mounted laser weaponry stories must be tagged with "realgenius", "ihatepopcorn" or some variant thereof.

Re:Tags (1)

Garridan (597129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136026)

Ok, what we have here is:

Laser Fight: Sharks vs. Jets

Yes, I think a "pewpewpew" tag is obligatory.

Re:Tags (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136078)

Laser Fight: Sharks vs. Jets

Once you're a Shark, you're a Shark all the way
From that "Suck my diiiiiiick" meme, 'til the Fonz jumps your way.

Re:Tags (1)

Haxzaw (1502841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136698)

My guess is it is supposed to be the sound the laser gun will make, like the Enterprise firing a photon torpedo.

9mm? (2, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30135982)

Why not compare it to a real handgun caliber [wikipedia.org] ? ;)

Re:9mm? (3, Informative)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136090)

Fail.

From you're own link, the bullet performance shows 702J as the highest energy output.

Re:9mm? (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136444)

You're/your before I get castrated by the grammar Nazis.

Re:9mm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136768)

You made a SPELLING mistake, not a GRAMMATICAL mistake.

Re:9mm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136656)

whoosh!

Re:9mm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136738)

1/2 a fail from both of you.

The 9mm wikipedia page (look it up yourself) shows a much lower energy value leading me to believe the article's number is wrong or from a different source/scale. .45 ACP still produces more energy then a 9mm.

Re:9mm? (0, Troll)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136096)

I always considered the people who religiously adhere to .45 over 9mm, despite its negligible, if any, benefit, to really be compensating for a lack of genitalular fortitude.

Re:9mm? (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136222)

Negligible benefit? Then why have so many police agencies abandoned the 9mm in favor of other calibers? Why did the Federal government settle on the .357 SIG (for the USSS) and .40S&W (for the FBI) instead of the cheaper and more commonly available 9mm? Most law enforcement agencies don't issue .45s but the fact that they've abandoned the 9mm in such large numbers ought to tell you something.

Personally, I'm not married to the .45. I have one, because I love the 1911 platform, but I'd also trust my life to a .40S&W, .357 magnum or 10mm. I've just read about too many spectacular failures of the 9mm to be willing to trust my life to it. To each their own though.

Re:9mm? (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136442)

Then why have so many police agencies abandoned the 9mm in favor of other calibers?

Because you can get hit with a 9mil round and still keep running. Not so much with the .40. From what I understand DHS [dhs.gov] also switched to the .357 and the .40.

Re:9mm? (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136602)

Yeah, the Air Marshals use the .357 SIG, as does the Secret Service. The Coast Guard adopted it as well. I believe the FBI is still using the .40 S&W but I could be mistaken.

The 9mm is a joke. It's even worse for the military because they aren't allowed to use expanding ammunition. Buddy of mine who deployed in Iraq tells a story of an insurgent whom wasn't stopped in spite of the fact that he had absorbed no less than six center of mass hits from the M9. Makes you question the wisdom of the military abandoning the Model 1911, doesn't it?

Re:9mm? (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136590)

Negligible benefit? Then why have so many police agencies abandoned the 9mm in favor of other calibers?

You think people go "Hey, I'm confident of my masculity, I think I'll become a cop. No, I don't like to bully people all day and get off on being a jerk with no possible comeback. I really want to serve society".

Re:9mm? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136638)

WTF does that have to do with anything?

Re:9mm? (0, Troll)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136752)

Perhaps you should read HEbGb (6544)'s post. You know, the one you're replying to...

Ask your mom to explain the long words.

Re:9mm? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136714)

As a matter of fact, yes, they sometimes do. But don't let facts bother you, by all means continue living in your childish fantasy world where all one's chosen profession dictates every aspect of their personality.

Re:9mm? (4, Funny)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136256)

Really? Compare the USP and the Glock pistols in Counter-Strike - which one does more damage?

Re:9mm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136562)

USP, but Glock on burst-mode is a HS machine!

Re:9mm? (1)

Lonewolf666 (259450) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136262)

Those people are not up to date. The .50 Action Express (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.50_AE [wikipedia.org] ) is a much better gun-penis ;-)

Re:9mm? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136324)

The .50 AE is a waste of money. It's useless for self-defense (too much recoil and over-penetration) and if handgun hunting is really your thing there are better and more powerful cartridges on the market.

Re:9mm? (2, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136670)

If you feel you're going to need a .50 cal, then use a 20ga shotgun (0.620" bore) loaded with slugs. At least then you'll be able to control the recoil. You will be able fire it faster. Maybe reload it faster. Use it as an effective club when you're out of ammo. And you'll be able to afford the ammo.

Re:9mm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136100)

Where are they getting 750 joules from? Most 9mm loads are closer to 550-650 joules. Even +P loads don't approach 750 joules. The .357 magnum is in that class. Neither the 9mm or vaunted .45 come close.

Re:9mm? (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136718)

I prefer a pistol grip on a shortened 12 gauge with buckshot myself.

Continue The Military Budget Expansion To (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136046)

accelerate U.S.A. economic implosion.

Yours In Yaznogorsk,
K. Trout

Penultimate means "second from last" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136064)

"Penultimate" means "second to last" and nothing else.

It sounds like "ultimate", and it is derived from "ultimate", but it still doesn't mean "super awesome".

Re:Penultimate means "second from last" (0, Offtopic)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136510)

"Ultimate" doesn't even mean "awesome", it means last or final. People use it to describe something impressive as saying that it's the final thing or the peak, that nothing can go beyond it.

Re:Penultimate means "second from last" (1, Offtopic)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136676)

On slashdot, you're allowed to take a word, find a longer word that sounds a bit like at and assume it's just a cleverer synonym of the original word. If anyone calls you on it, you just whine about languages evolving.

I'd expect an illuminary like you to know that.

...and so does "final stage prior to..." (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136544)

"Penultimate" means "second to last" and nothing else.

Which is exactly the sense in which it is used here, as is indicated by the language from TFA quoted in TFS: "the final stage prior to America's first raygun-equipped jet fighter."

So, in the series in which the last (or "ultimate") stage is the contract for a laser-armed jet fighter, the contract for the ground-based prototype is the second to last (or "penultimate") stage.

So, great job of knowing what "penultimate" means, but next time work on reading and understanding the post in which it is used before accusing someone of using it wrong.

Re:Penultimate means "second from last" (1)

Unordained (262962) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136568)

... where "ultimate" means "last". If you assume "last = best" (and thus "ultimate" = "awesome", as is common) then "penultimate" is "the next best thing". None too shabby, especially in situations where "ultimate" is assumed to be unachievable. (Example: assume there is a concept of an "ultimate weapon", which no weapon can match. That concept is itself unachievable. The penultimate weapon, then, is the next-best-thing, the most awesome weapon that actually exists; it will lose its standing as the penultimate weapon when a better one is devised.)

The Future (4, Funny)

colmore (56499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136068)

When I read the summary I wondered if they'd be putting one of those on flying robot drones and then I realized that yes, it's 2009 and we live in the fucking future.

Re:The Future (3, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136246)

Give credit [xkcd.com] where credit is due.

We live in a world where there are actual fleets of robot assassins patrolling the skies. At some point there, we left the present and entered the future."

Re:The Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136748)

Yep, and the Perl version of Skynet is already operational: http://skynet.pl ..

The site is ciphered like Enigma... you can't read it... just like Perl...

Re:The Future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136424)

Next year: Laser Cats.

Re:The Future (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136428)

Something went wrong with the future.
We crossed into a time-line where there are no flying cars. Who's going to go back in time and fix this?

why is this word never used correctly? (0)

Fysiks Wurks (949375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136094)

penultimate: last but one in a series of things; second to the last

Re:why is this word never used correctly? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136212)

I though it referred to those space pens that write upside down...

Re:why is this word never used correctly? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136250)

Presumably, the ultimate contract is the one that actually puts the lasers on the sharks. Most Slashdot readers would have understood that from the first sentence alone!

Re:why is this word never used correctly? (0, Offtopic)

Fysiks Wurks (949375) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136452)

I stand corrected. Actually, I'm sitting down.

Re:why is this word never used correctly? (-1, Flamebait)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136498)

Because most Americans don't actually know what it means, nor does it get used regularly. No problems with its use the other side of the Atlantic. I figured it is just one of those words that fell by the wayside, and along with "fortnight", guaranteed to garner a blank look when used Stateside.

Re:why is this word never used correctly? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136576)

That is the penultimate question.

Re:why is this word never used correctly? (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136618)

One of the deals will see a full-power ground prototype built which will be the final stage prior to America's first raygun-equipped jet fighter.

This prototype is second to last(penultimate) contract in this project. The last one (or ultimate) will be for the actual jet. The use is valid.

It is used correctly (1, Redundant)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136620)

penultimate: last but one in a series of things; second to the last

[At risk of being modded redundant (but since none of the three posts I've seen making the same criticism of TFS have been yet, maybe not)]

This is exactly the sense in which it is used here, as is indicated by the language from TFA quoted in TFS: "the final stage prior to America's first raygun-equipped jet fighter."

So, in the series in which the last (or "ultimate") stage is the contract for a laser-armed jet fighter, the contract for the ground-based prototype is the second to last (or "penultimate") stage.

So, great job of knowing what "penultimate" means, but next time work on reading and understanding the post in which it is used before accusing someone of using it wrong.

No laser cannons on sharks or planes ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136136)

The planetarium cartel will never allow that to happen and they are more powerful than the Illuminati.

Author, slashdot reader? (1)

DavMz (1652411) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136148)

After reading the article, I cannot be sure that the US military spoke about scaling the lasers down to a shark-sized one. My guess is that Lewis Page wanted to please the slashdot community.

Good, now we can blast starving people even more (-1, Troll)

Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136152)

effectively. This is called progress...

Effect on humans? (3, Interesting)

Singularity42 (1658297) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136158)

I've never heard an analysis of effects on humans. Bullets are good a disrupting tissue, often causing death. A laser might deliver a cauterized burn, or blindness if in the right spot.

Re:Effect on humans? (2, Funny)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136218)

I take it you're volunteering.

Re:Effect on humans? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136490)

Of course. I will willingly volunteer to shoot the laser at something to analyze the results. ;)

Re:Effect on humans? (1)

mujadaddy (1238164) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136584)

:-) Sorry, we're up to our gills in firing testers.

Mirrors (2, Funny)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136170)

Time to get into the mirror business! It's a lot easier to deflect protons than bullets, I'll tell you that.

Re:Mirrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136248)

cause mirrors are not brittle. and all mirrors are built the same (they *all* reflect 100% of the energy all teh time... cause they never would get dirty ir dusty in the feild). :P
Lame. lol.

Re:Mirrors (3, Informative)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136252)

^photons. These are lasers, not particle guns.

Re:Mirrors (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136268)

It's a lot easier to deflect protons than bullets

Umm...

Re:Mirrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136554)

It's ok, we'll just spec our exhaust ports to be no more than 2 meters wide. Nobody can hit that.

Re:Mirrors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136378)

bullets are made up mostly (by mass) of protons. Duh.

Re:Mirrors (2, Informative)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136666)

I know this was a joke, but to be pedantic, there are more neutrons than protons in lead... 125 vs 82 respectively. ;-)

Cheers

Dr. Evil (0, Redundant)

hellercom (1282802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136182)

I want those frickin Lasers on the sharks heads!

Acronym of an acronym? (1)

gurps_npc (621217) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136186)

HELL = "High Energy Liquid Laser"

"LASER" = Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It strikes me as wrong to use the first letter of an acronym as the last letter of another acronym.

It should be HELLASER = High Energy Liquid Light Amplification by Stimulated Emision of Radiation.

Re:Acronym of an acronym? (4, Funny)

Drishmung (458368) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136580)

Then I take it GNU renders you apoplectic.

Re:Acronym of an acronym? (2, Funny)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136600)

It could be worse. It could stand for the HELL Energetic Liquid Laser.

Also, I'm wondering when the military brainchidren are going to develop the GREATSATAN weapon. Surely this too will help improve our image among people who already think we're controlled by the devil.

Legal Mambo-Jumbo (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136190)

...a brace of contracts...

I get lost with all the legal verbiage.

Re:Legal Mambo-Jumbo (1)

Zordak (123132) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136690)

I'm even a lawyer, and I've never heard anybody say "a brace of contracts." I've heard "a brace of pistols," and I think Samwise caught a "brace of conies" in The Two Towers, but I would just say "two contracts." Still, at least the guy posting the story used "penultimate" right.

over one second? (3, Interesting)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136220)

We've been down this way back during the star wars days and trying to shoot down missiles. Any sort of energy that is released in the term of a second or so is useless against anything but stationary targets where you can assume you will hit the same point for that entire second. Bullets on the other hand expend their energy in a range of ten thousandths of a second. Until lasers or other beam weapons can deliver enough energy in a short enough amount of time similar to a bullet or supersonic missile, they simply will not make good weapons. Just make your missiles spin and any energy hitting them will be over a very large area. Similarly, the energy given for a 9mm hitting a human target that is moving around will be affected less than the firer of a 9mm who will probably absorb that energy over a shorter time and less area due to recoil.

Re:over one second? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136300)

It might depend a bit on your objectives. If you want to spread terror by setting fire to (say) Baghdad then cruising around the sky with a laser might be more efficient than dropping bombs all over the place.

Re:over one second? (3, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136522)

But you can keep a laser focused on something a lot easier. Light moves a whole lot faster than a supersonic missile. If you think of it as a "photon machine gun," it's a lot easier to keep the "bullets" hitting the target when your bullets fire rather rapidly and can move at the speed of light. One second of laser-shining-on-a-moving-object can't be TOO hard.

Re:over one second? (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136694)

tho especially considering the criticality of weight, it's a lot easier to coat a missile with chrome than armor plating.

One would assume that all ICBMs around the world are either already chromed or can be retrofitted very easily should the laser tech become more mainstream.

Re:over one second? (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136594)

I don't doubt the engineers involved see the glaring problems that need to be fixed before this can be deployed, but if DARPA thinks they've got the potential to produce the real deal they'd do well to throw money at this project to speed development.

In any case, these lasers just have to replace some roles for more expendable munitions, assuming firing the laser is significantly cheaper than dropping a bomb or firing a smart missile.

What about the ultimate contract? (0, Offtopic)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136228)

DARPA letting the penultimate [dict.org] contract for what is intended to be a jet-mounted laser cannon

OK, so did they also let the ultimate [dict.org] contract, or do they now award to the second-best bidder?

Re:What about the ultimate contract? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136680)

Jet-mounted laser cannon is #2, since it is highly non-shark-releated.

Re:What about the ultimate contract? (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136760)

OK, so did they also let the ultimate contract

No, the "ultimate" contract "for what is intended to be a jet-mounted laser cannon" would be the contract for a jet-mounted laser cannon. The contract described here as "penultimate" is for "a full-power ground prototype" intended as to "be the final stage prior to America's first raygun-equipped jet fighter" and which is, therfore, correctly described by TFS as being "the penultimate contract for what is itended to be a jet-mounted laser cannon".

There is lots of misguided pedantry here ragging on TFS for using "penultimate" correctly.

Somewhere in the Universe..... (1)

Sean Trembath (607338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136232)

Greedo is starting to sweat

nice (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136260)

Now that's a slashdot article title I think we can all approve of.

Obligatory (2, Funny)

Dripdry (1062282) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136270)

Val Kilmer seen running around MIT hollering with joy.

Recoil (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136278)

Does firing a laser bring recoil opposite the laser's direction with the energy equal to that in the laser, the way firing a bullet does?

Re:Recoil (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136346)

Does firing a laser bring recoil opposite the laser's direction with the energy equal to that in the laser, the way firing a bullet does?

Yes, but not enough to notice. In theory a laser can be used as a rocket drive, as can my LED torch. Just not a very good rocket.

Re:Recoil (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136418)

If the recoil has the energy of the projected laser but in the opposite direction, the way a bullet gun's recoil does, how is it not enough to notice? The lasers in this article, including the hypothesized portable version, pack quite a wallop.

Re:Recoil (2, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136502)

If the recoil has the energy of the projected laser but in the opposite direction, the way a bullet gun's recoil does, how is it not enough to notice? The lasers in this article, including the hypothesized portable version, pack quite a wallop.

The recoil has the momentum of the projected laser. Photons, like atoms, have mass-energy which, along with velocity determines momentum. But a lot of energy gives very little mass. So photons have a lot of velocity (C) and hardly any mass, so they have hardly any momentum for a lot of energy.

The atoms in normal rocket exhaust have less velocity but heaps more mass-energy, most of which is just dead weight.

Re:Recoil (1)

volsung (378) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136644)

Because recoil due to conservation of momentum, not conservation of energy. The "projectiles" (ok, summing over many, many projectiles with the laser) leave with the same kinetic energy, but the rest mass of the photon is zero. Since we're dealing with photons, we would really need to do the math with conservation of relativistic 4-momentum to get the right answer. (Newtonian conservation of momentum says there would be no recoil at all from a laser, but that's not quite true. It's just really, really tiny.)

Re:Recoil (2, Informative)

XSpud (801834) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136646)

The recoil doesn't have the same energy, but it will have the same momentum.

Re:Recoil (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136728)

Photons have no rest mass; they have a very high energy:momentum ratio. So yes, there is some recoil, but it's insignificant.

Moving Mass (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136462)

Think about how a gun works - you are accelerating a substantial mass (bullet). With a laser, you are accelerating photons which have almost no mass, so even though the same amount of energy is involved you have far less recoil.

Wake me ... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136310)

Wake me when they make a {voice=Arnold}"phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range" {/voice}

Re:Wake me ... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136374)

I think we are way beyond 40 watts now.

Re:Wake me ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136474)

Excuse me, sir.. The idea is to have a weapon with LOW power requirements while still massively effective.

Yes but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136334)

Will Val Kilmer be able to redirect the laser to pop popcorn from the sky?

Is a comparison to bullets apt? (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136356)

It seems to me that 750 joules of kinetic energy in a bullet would do a lot more damage to a target than 750 joules of electromagnetic energy. A laser can only burn through tissue, and that'll always take longer than a metal slug takes to penetrate, given the same amount of energy, right?

Re:Is a comparison to bullets apt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136528)

I prefer my enemy soldiers deli sliced, not hamburgered.

Re:Is a comparison to bullets apt? (1)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136596)

What you're thinking of is impulse -- when car hits a brick wall, it loses the same energy it does when it uses its breaks, the difference is impulse (though the momentum remains the same.)

I'm not sure how much that applies to lasers; You have to realize a laser will never "bounce," the energy distribution is entirely different. It's like comparing catching someone on fire to shooting them in the face. A laser of that power might burn a four inch hole, whereas a bullet might shoot right through.

Re:Is a comparison to bullets apt? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136608)

no.
It depends on the lengths of time the 750 is delivered

"A laser can only burn through tissue,"
I don't know why you think that, for 400 bucks you can buy a LASER that cuts metal.

cool (1)

xynopsis (224788) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136416)

looks cool

useless against the enemies of freedom (-1, Troll)

czarangelus (805501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136520)

Yet another weapon in the arsenal of the doomed Empire that will amount to nothing. A complete and total waste of money from start to finish; nothing but welfare for Boeing and Raytheon. The fact is no collection of military hardware will prevent a people from seeking self-government and self-determination. All of these weapons used to keep al-Maliki and Hamid Karzai in office just prove how corrupt and illegitimate the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan are. No amount of military power, short of genocide, will crystalize these countries as satraps of America.

In fact, America is so stupid, that the same pathetic fags from Iraq War I who were surrendering to CNN cameramen have now become brave and determined fighters. How did you accomplish this, America? My mind is boggled by just how idiotic the actions of your corporate-military-political axis have been. Of course, it's no surprise when you fund your own enemies. The Nation recently had an article, "How the US Funds the Taliban." You pay the Taliban not to attack your convoys and then they turn around and use that money to buy weapons to attack convoys. What a comedy! I guess Kissinger was right: soldiers are dumb stupid animals to be used for foreign policy. Not only does America massacre civilians in occupied nations like clockwork, it also sets up its own soldiers as human sacrifices in order to enrich military contractors!

The USA is a stupid, evil Empire. The Black Iron Prison, the Fourth Reich, Satan's will made manifest on Earth. No wonder hunger is epidemic in your streets and millions of people are homeless while millions of homes sit empty.

But the very funniest part - is that you're next! The government of the USA which is willing to massacre tens of thousands of civilians who had no involvement in 9/11 whatsoever doesn't give a damn about you. All these weapons and surveilleince techniques; all this spying on social networks and guilt-by-association ploys: you are the next victim. The moment it's more profitable for Goldman Sachs that you be dead instead of alive, you had better believe these bastards will come up with a justification for it. You had better believe it. Maybe they'll sell it all this great new technology to China to pay off our debt and then stand aside, as we bribe the Pakistani government to stand aside, or the Lebanese government to stand aside - while China uses it to massacre Americans by the tens of thousands. Oh evil Empire, reap what you have sown!

Re:useless against the enemies of freedom (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136762)

How are the headaches doing, Czarangelus?

Kent... Wake up Kent. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30136586)

All you'd need is a large spinning mirror and you could vaporize a human target from space. Better go make sure someone didn't steal Kents tracking system.

Plus sharks with FRICKIN LAZER BEAMS attached to their heads?

I like the first movie better.

Energy T Y P E matters -- HOT water (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136610)

OK, so 702 joules sounds impressive. It is, but only for mechanical energy. Those same 702 joules only heat 10 mL of water 17'C (30'F). Not even enough for a burn! But maybe enough to blind.

That's great, but... (1)

esampson (223745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30136720)

From TFA:

If it scales down far enough, this would seem to put handheld HELL-guns within an order of magnitude of the striking power offered by conventional small-arms. A 9mm pistol bullet has about 750 joules muzzle energy: a 5kg portable HELL-ray weapon would put out this much energy in a blast less than a second long.

Since 9mm guns tend to be pistols they weigh a lot less than 5kg (11 lbs.). Most semi-automatic pistols are also capable of accurately firing 3-4 rounds per second and as has already been mentioned keeping a 750 joules laser on a target for an entire second would be close to impossible unless the target was completely incapable of movement, so that energy is going to be diffused across the target reducing it's effectiveness pretty severely.

I guess the last thing I feel obligated to point out is that a handheld HELL-gun that is within an order of magnitude of the striking power offered by conventional small arms would have about 75 joules of muzzle energy and would be about as dangerous as a BB gun (You could put your eye out with it). An order of magnitude is a factor of 10.

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