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67-Kilowatt Laser Unveiled

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the very-big-sharks dept.

Science 395

s31523 writes "Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California has announced they have working in the lab a Solid State Heat Capacity Laser that averages 67 kW. It is being developed for the military. The chief scientist Dr. Yamamoto is quoted: 'I know of no other solid state laser that has achieved 67 kW of average output power.' Although many lasers have peaked at higher capacities, getting the average sustained power to remain high is the tricky part. The article says that hitting the 100-kW level, at which point it would become interesting as a battlefield weapon, could be less than a year away."

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Obligatory (4, Funny)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 6 years ago | (#18136906)

Cue the frickin' lasers jokes in 3...2...1...

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18136938)

In soviet North Korea, only old people have sharks with frickin' laser beams on their heads!

Is there a, uh, stun setting ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137244)

Put your hands up or I will burn a hole right between your eyes !

Or just another weapon to kill, Kill, KILL !!

Re:Is there a, uh, stun setting ? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137580)

They need the frickin light saber! This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight, less random than a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.

Re:Obligatory (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137482)

North Korea has never had soviets.

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

servoled (174239) | more than 6 years ago | (#18136982)

Two frickin' lasers walked into a bar... the third one ducked.

Re:Obligatory (4, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137672)

A priest, a rabbi, and a horse walk into a bar. The bartender says "What is this, a joke?"
 

Re:Obligatory (1)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 6 years ago | (#18136996)

Jumping... is useless.

Still too big (2, Funny)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137122)

Okay, I'll bite...

Near the end of the article: 'mobile laser concept'.
That thing needs a whaleshark to mount it on!

--
Still prefer the double-barreled shotgun, or the Bio-Force Gun [wikipedia.org] (BFG) myself...

Re:Obligatory (3, Funny)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137500)

That Yamamoto guy is trying to take credit for others' work. The "laser" is actually Alan Parsons' project!

Obligatory R. G. Reference. (1)

Mateorabi (108522) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137608)

All you'd need is a big spinning mirror and you could vaporize a human target from space.

Re:Obligatory R. G. Reference. (1)

shmlco (594907) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137686)

You forgot the phase-conjugate tracking system.

Re:Obligatory R. G. Reference. (1)

shadow349 (1034412) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137704)

A big mirror makes a big beam.

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

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Uhh?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18136924)

Yamamoto Cannon!!!

Yamato (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137040)

Yamamoto Cannon!!!

Build a Yamato and put these on it instead of the half-meter rifles the last one had.

Research Complete: Yamamoto Gun (1)

chaney (526944) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137226)

Oh thank God! I can build Battlecruisers now!

Sorry, had to be said.

Eleven (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18136940)

But my laser goes all the way up to 11 ...

don't tag this 'SHARKS' (2, Funny)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 6 years ago | (#18136944)

tag it ohgodsomeonewilltagthissharks instead and show some originality

Re:don't tag this 'SHARKS' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137050)

and now, please proceed and tag this "sharks"

Re:don't tag this 'SHARKS' (0, Offtopic)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137104)

Then come be a nonconformist with me by wearing all the same clothes and listening to the same music I do!

Re:don't tag this 'SHARKS' (1, Offtopic)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137180)

You bring the sorrow, I'll bring the razors.

Re:don't tag this 'SHARKS' (0, Offtopic)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137380)

Be even more original and tag is 'lasers'. No one will every find it then.

Not Car Wars level yet (2, Funny)

ArmorFiend (151674) | more than 6 years ago | (#18136966)

Yawn...somebody wake me when they can make it 500 pounds, 2 spaces, $8000, and it can cut through an engine block in 1/10th of a second.

-Uncle Albert

I... I can't stop myself (0, Offtopic)

Centurix (249778) | more than 6 years ago | (#18136978)

1.21 Gigawatts!

Re:I... I can't stop myself (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137442)

Jigga Whats?

two things (1)

go_jesse (243193) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137014)

Remember that movie Real Genius? Is this as powerful as that?
seriously, what I'm interested in is the non-military applications of technologies like this. Oh yeah, and if it was a weapon, what would be the effective range at 65kW or 100kW? The article is a little light on information.

Re:two things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137176)

The article is a little light on information.
Light indeed.

Re:two things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137256)

The article is a little information on light.

Re:two things (1)

evil agent (918566) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137236)

Remember that movie Real Genius? Is this as powerful as that?

You doubt the awesome power of Real Genius!?!?

But seriously, forcing your enemy to watch Real Genius would be a more effective weapon than this laser...

Re:two things (1)

alisson (1040324) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137340)

I loved that movie. And based solely on that fact, I can already tell you the purpose of this laser, or "laZor":

Popcorn for everyone :) [moviezilla.org]

Re:two things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137288)

Real Genius related question:

How do you make sure the optics are clean/scratch free in battle field condition?
It doesn't take much of imperfection to have a part of the optics to absorb enough energy to destroy itself.

Personally I don't think there is much of a range issue with lasers. The atmospheric condition etc would probably affect it more.

The only draw back is that it has to be line of sight and hopefully you don't have friendlies or civilians behind your target. The place that make most sense is on a boomer/death star/UAV. :r

Re:two things (2, Insightful)

fontkick (788075) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137290)

What kind of non-military applications exist for a 100kW laser... a Houseful-of-Popcorn-O-Matic?

Re:two things (2, Informative)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137714)

Industrial uses of high-powered lasers include laser cutting and welding. I don't have any experience with either one, but I imagine they could benefit from power increases (cut thicker parts faster) and solid state (hopefully means cheaper and lower maintenance).

Laser-thermal rockets are also not that far away from reality; what they lack is a fair bit of development effort, currently hindered by the cost of high power continuous output lasers. The basic way they work is a high power laser on the ground aimed at a heat exchanger on the rocket that heats hydrogen (the best working gas) to very high temperatures (relatively... 2-3000 kelvin is enough to be interesting with hydrogen) and exhaust it, developing several times the specific impulse of conventional chemical rockets. The advantages are lowered cost if you have a high flight rate -- you can use the expensive bits for many many launches per day, realistically limited only by how fast you can get new boosters into position. And yes, the math suggests you can do single stage to orbit (depends on the details of your heat exchanger performance, obviously). And, they're absurdly power-hungry -- one newton of thrust requires ~ 5kW of laser power; even a demonstration rocket would likely need hundreds of kilowatts or more of power.

Re:two things (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137508)

Oh, there probably are civilian applications (bonding Teflon to frying pans, that sort of thing) but as a military weapon it seems to me that a high-powered CW device is less destructive than a really-high-powered pulse laser.

Re:two things (1)

AoT (107216) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137512)

If I remember correctly they were trying for a 4Megawatt *chemical* laser in Real Genius.

This is a 65Kw solid state laser, so about 100 times weaker.

Effective range for what? (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137514)

Civilians? Steel? Kevlar? The effective range depends on what you want to
burn a hole through and how long you're willing to wait for it.

So will this give me bionic eyesight (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137026)

Or just incinerate my brain and explosively detach the back of my skull?

Re:So will this give me bionic eyesight (3, Funny)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137152)

You know, I think you should try it. I hear you can get a scientific award for experiments like that, though I hear it's named after someone who is controversial in US schools.

Re:So will this give me bionic eyesight (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137216)

Would that frowned upon someone be General Education?

It will vaporize your head... Unless... (1, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137168)

Someone comes up with some amazing, high tech solutions which I don't know, let you reflect light, or maybe bend it. This "laser shield" would have to be small enough to carry, compact, say small enough to fit in a woman's handbag or maybe a gent's toiletry bag.

Anyway, just a thought, it'll probably take the military billions of dollars and a decade or two to come up with something like that.
 

Re:It will vaporize your head... Unless... (1)

nasor (690345) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137276)

It says that the laser wavelength is 1 micron (into the infrared). Since glass isn't transparent to that wavelength, you can't reflect it with a mirror.

Re:It will vaporize your head... Unless... (4, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137486)

It says that the laser wavelength is 1 micron (into the infrared). Since glass isn't transparent to that wavelength, you can't reflect it with a mirror.

You need to put the reflective surface on the intercept side of the substrate, glass or otherwise. That way, it is the first thing the laser hits. And of course, you'd better make sure that the efficiency is high enough that the laser doesn't manage to ablate the coating. Maybe coatings aren't that good an idea in the first place. Maybe thick, mirror-polished armor that can direct heat away from the surface really quickly is more what you want. Of course, a little dirt on there, you have a localized heat event, and all of a sudden things aren't as reflective as they should be, and zonk, you have a hole right through the armor.

100 KW for a battlefield laser, eh? Personally, I'm thinking being in front of one of these is a very, very bad idea.

Re:It will vaporize your head... Unless... (1)

norton_I (64015) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137730)

(ordinary) glass is transparent at 1 micron. It is also transparent at 1.5 microns -- telecom laser communication travels down glass fibers at the wavelength.

Re:It will vaporize your head... Unless... (0)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137342)

Someone comes up with some amazing, high tech solutions which I don't know, let you reflect light

The real fun starts when the cheap mirror becomes an ideal way to use the laser against a third party.

Never shoot at a mirror - Louis Wu [wikipedia.org]

Worse (4, Funny)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137476)

The RIAA is terrified that it will be used to burn DVDs at a range of 500 meters. Drive-by piracy is here: hide your children, lock your doors, hire your lawyers!

official name... (4, Funny)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137030)

...will be the "Yamamoto Cannon".

(damn, why couldn't he have been Dr. Yamato)

For Aiur! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137036)

said SSHCL programme manager Bob Yamamoto
Does that mean they are developing a Yamamoto cannon?

Alright! The admiral has been waiting on this upgrade for a while now...

Rumsfeld Already Wants One (5, Funny)

SRA8 (859587) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137060)

Let me guess -- the Pentagon now has everything it needs to proceed with the Death Star?

Re:Rumsfeld Already Wants One (4, Funny)

aristotle-dude (626586) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137660)

Everything is proceeding just as I've foreseen. - The Emperor

Not good enough (4, Funny)

volpe (58112) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137074)

I want five megawatts by mid-May.

Re:Not good enough (1)

Agripa (139780) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137302)

. . . So, what exactly do you want?

Re:Not good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137680)

What do you want? Who are you? Why are you here?

Re:Not good enough (2, Funny)

Todamont (1034534) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137332)

It needs to be an excimer, excited in the frozen state and coupled to the ground state, duh. Also, we're gonna need a big spinning mirror. Also a lot of popcorn.

Re:Not good enough (1)

mushadv (909107) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137344)

I think it would be in our best interests to aim for jigawatts. 1.21 would be sufficient.

Re:Not good enough (2, Funny)

PopeZaphod (651956) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137428)

There are a lot of decaffeinated brands out there that are just as tasty as the real thing.

We're working on it (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137594)

Minion: "Mein Fuehrer, the five megawatt light device will be ready by mid-may,
the portable five megawatt backpack energy supply too."

Fuehrer: "Very good Herr Sturmbannfueher. I look forward to deploying this miracle weapon!"

Minion: "We still have a very small very minor problem to solve, mein Fuehrer."

Fuehrer: "Ja? Problem? What problem?"

Minion: "Our Tibet expedition has still failed to produce a Yeti to carry the weapon".

Almost but not quite! (1)

DaemonBob (1068134) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137076)

Dr. Yamamoto almost but not quite Yamato. Ive seen too much anime and played too much Starcraft.

Re:Almost but not quite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137282)

Um, no. Not anime. Star Blazers was Japanimation. You kids these days and your anime crap.

Re:Almost but not quite! (1)

DaemonBob (1068134) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137328)

In Korea only old people call it Japanimation, besides I'm 30!

-- "ETERNAL SALVATION OR TRIPLE YOUR MONEY BACK!" - J.R. "Bob" Dobbs

Too big (2, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137080)

Picture [bbc.co.uk] in TFA shows a trailer which you would presumably tow through the streets of Baghdad zapping potential IED's but the opposition in that country have shown that they have the ability to adapt to changed conditions. So the bombs they plant will be in places you can't tow a huge trailer, or outside a place where blowing up the IED will only make you get the blame for killing civilians.

Too much overhead, not enough payload.

Re:Too big (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137232)

"[Bad guys] have shown that they have the ability to adapt to changed conditions."

IDE's disguised as mirror balls?

Re:Too big (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137264)

Although MSDEV has been known blow up unexpectedly, I meant IED's not IDE's.

Not too big (1)

ConanG (699649) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137464)

The diagrammed version is not for destroying IED's. The article says a much smaller 25kW laser would be useful for destroying them because time is not a factor. The 25kW version just needs to "dwell" on the target a little longer.

A 100kW version (like in the picture) is where it gets interesting because it might be useful for destroying moving targets on the battlefield (missiles, shells, etc...). A 25kW laser wouldn't be able to acquire a target and destroy it in time.

Re:Not too big (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137526)

On the other hand, if all you want to do is remove an enemy sharpshooter from action just focus a 100 mW laser at his scope for a few milliseconds. He won't be doing much shooting after that.

Re:Too big (1)

s2jcpete (989386) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137728)

How about a smallish blimp?

Unveiled? More like UNLEASHED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137102)

[Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California.]
Solid State Heat Capacity Laser : So, Dr. Yamamoto WE MEET AGAIN!
Dr. Yamamoto : ???????
SSHCL: Remember Cal Tech?
Dr. Yamamoto : Fluid dynamics?
SSHCL: No, Dr. Yamamoto -- lasers. Autonomous lasers.
Dr Yamamoto : My secret research!
SSHCL: Soon all the world will know.

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that in Soviet California, lasers unveil YOU.

May cause som collateral damage (5, Insightful)

viking2000 (954894) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137146)

The article does not mention that any reflection off whatever the laser is aiming at is many kW as well. A small polished piece of steel would reflect 80% in some random direction, and the beam will go until it reaches something. Only a few milli Watts would be sufficient to damage the eyes of civilian spectators, so a reflection could easily permanently blind everyone in a football stadium of 50000 people.

Re:May cause som collateral damage (4, Funny)

Wicko (977078) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137178)

That would be one hell of a light show.

Re:May cause som collateral damage (1)

nasor (690345) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137260)

The article says that the laser's wavelength is 1 micron. The outer surface of the human eye isn't transparent to that wavelength, so you wouldn't have to worry about eye damage.

Re:May cause som collateral damage (4, Informative)

viking2000 (954894) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137478)

1 micron is 1000nm, and will penetrate the eyeball just fine. It will not focus fully on the retina. 400-1400nm radiation will penetrate the eye ball and may cause heating of the retina, whereas exposure to laser radiation with wavelengths less than 400 nm and greater than 1400 nm are largely absorbed by the cornea and lens, leading to the development of cataracts or burn injuries.

Re:May cause som collateral damage (1)

LabRat (8054) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137688)

Good point...I didn't take the time to research it before your comment, but Nd:YAG retinal injuries are quite common and that laser operates at 1064nm. Either way...internal or external damage to the eye can be quite significant.

Re:May cause som collateral damage (2, Insightful)

LabRat (8054) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137560)

Maybe not retinal damage, but "not transparent" generally means "will absorb"...so you'd have have massive epithelial and corneal damage instead. Basically like having a LASIK device going randomly berserk on you. Not a happy thought, to say the least. In it's (apparently) intended use for shooting down missiles/mortars in the short-range theater...the ranges involved shouldn't allow for much in the way of intensity of the scatter. Use against nearby ground targets is, of course, might be a different story.

Re:May cause som collateral damage (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137274)

That's why interpretations of the Geneva convention suggest that it's a violation to use lasers. Of course, when we get leaders that intentionally play dumb when it suits them, they find ways around it. I've seen reports, I think in a couple AP stories, that the Soviets and Chinese have used lasers to try to interfere with pilots. I should say that haven't confirmed them with other sources.

Re:May cause som collateral damage (1)

repvik (96666) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137540)

Oooooh! I want a couple of these lasers. And one of them disco-ball-thingys!

67kW? (2, Funny)

Cynical_Dude (548704) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137156)

67 kW? Thats nice. Another 933 kW and we can mount it on my Cobra Mark III.

Tough decision... (3, Funny)

crankyspice (63953) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137252)

Do I make a Real Genius joke, or a StarCraft joke?

Re:Tough decision... (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137582)

Do I make a Real Genius joke, or a StarCraft joke?

Real Genius. It's a moral imperative.

Shortly after introduction 100kW battlefield laser (2, Insightful)

Jasper__unique_dammi (901401) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137266)

... the Iraqi insurgents come up with the 100kW mirror!

Yanks developing more weapons (3, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137300)

Can't say I'm surprised really. The funny thing is that no other nation sees the need to spend anything like the US military budget. I suppose the argument goes that there are people around the world who hate freedom, and since the US is the 'most free' nation on Earth, well, they're prime targets. Problem is that the US isn't the 'most free' nation on Earth - not by a long shot. Scratch that theory. The alternate argument goes that there are a lot of people around the world who hate US foreign police. This argument seems far more sensible. So for US citizens, the correct path would be to change foreign policy, right? Problem is, US citizens don't live in a democracy, so can't affect the foreign policy of their ruling class. Think I'm wrong? Think again. They just voted out the Republicans in an absolute landslide which is largely recognised as being a rejection of Republican foreign policy, but you watch just how much that policy changes, both now AND when they get rid of Emperor Dubya.

For those who see these laser protecting them from the terrorists' attacks on their homes, I think this is being a bit naive. This laser is to protect military equipment on the battlefield, and the ruling class at home. Just look at how the military didn't lift a finger to stop 9/11, even though they had precise warnings from multiple credible sources. The only thing the US government did was to protect Bin Laden's family after 9/11, flying them back home to safety.

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (1)

Skridge (1053362) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137408)

this should be mod +5 informative, it's dead nuts on correct.

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137522)

I second that motion. Please, +10. Make a new category if you need to.

If this war was about democracy, then listen to this:

In every democracy, large changes require large majorities. War is one of the largest changes you can possibly make. Therefore, a super-majority should be required for any President to go to war.

They will say:

  o You are putting our troops at risk by opposing the war now.

I would reply:

  o You are the one who has put our troops at risk by abandoning the principals of democracy.

They will say:

  o You are playing into Al-Qaeda's strategy, showing weakness will make them stronger.

I would reply:

  o You, Sir, are the one playing into Al-Qaeda's strategy by putting our troops into harms way after leaving your post at the head of democratic principals.

They will say:

  o We must "finish the fight" or else risk a mushroom cloud on US soil.

I would reply:

  o By attacking with uncertain majority you encourage terrorists who play on the divide.

Hear this: When 90% of any country really wants to go to war, are themselves willing to die, suffer, ration their lives and limbs, your enemy will back down by the sheer obviousness of what will ensue. When less than 5% feel that way, YOU ARE PUTTING EVERYONE AT RISK.

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137456)

The funny thing is that no other nation sees the need to spend anything like the US military budget. The CIA World factbook begs to differ: https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/rank order/2034rank.html [cia.gov]

In fact, 25 nations spend a higher percent of their GDP on the militairy than the US does.

Just look at how the military didn't lift a finger to stop 9/11, even though they had precise warnings from multiple credible sources.

Really? Where did you read this? I thought it was a big conspiracy by the tin foil companies.

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (4, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137620)

In fact, 25 nations spend a higher percent of their GDP on the militairy than the US does.

This is wrong for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I didn't mention spending as a percentage of GDP; I was talking about absolute spending.

Next, comparing spending / GDP with other nations with incredibly low GDPs isn't really giving a clear picture of what's going on. For example, who the hell is Eritrea, the so-called No 1 in military spending in the world? You see, if these countries have a very small GDP, the figures are going to look distorted even if they only buy a couple of grenades.

Next, the US hides massive amounts of its military spending. The figure they used in that CIA table was the official maintenance cost of the US military. This is the amount that would be required just to keep the military at home. But they're never at home! Things like the wars aren't counted by the US, for some reason. These are 'extra' costs. The trillion dollars that Dubya has asked for to cover the next year in Iraq, well that's not counted. The budget of the CIA, with their military coupes against democratically elected governments and such, well that's not counted. And research on weapons such as this laser. That's not counted either. So you see, if all these things were counted, then the US would be at the top of the list in terms of GDP as well. They're already at the top of the list in absolute terms, which is the point I was originally making.

Really? Where did you read this? I thought it was a big conspiracy by the tin foil companies.

That's because you're either in denial, or you'e completely fooled by the propaganda. It's YOU who needs a tin foil hat :)

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137726)

Don't bother him with facts. You'll just distort his prefabricated worldview, and you wouldn't want to do that (just be sure to be completely reasonable when discussing the stupidass things his country's government does, otherwise you might inadvertently expose some hypocrisy.)

He also forgets that the our military has very limited ability to operate within the territorial United States (e.g. the Posse Comitatus Act.) Oh, I agree that there are many someones, somewhere, who bear the responsibility for not stopping that tragedy, especially after all the billions we've spent on security. However, the finger should be squarely pointed at civilian agencies such as the FBI, CIA, NSA, and other organizations referred to by various three-letter abbreviations (if it happens again, I think the letters DHS would top the list.) The United States military is not really at fault for what amounts to a failure of domestic intelligence and/or the ability act upon it.

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137472)

We have nothing to fear. A 67kW laser would be effectively reflected by shiny, shiny tinfoil. We could make hats out of it to protect ourselves. I don't suppose you have any helpful pointers on how to make and wear them, do you?

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (1)

vandan (151516) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137640)

I don't see the relevance here. You're trying to make a point, but I really don't see it applying to me in any way. Try making it again, and this time put your brain into gear before hitting the 'submit' button. Or is that why you submitted as AC?

Re:Yanks developing more weapons (0, Offtopic)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137484)

As another poster noted, this is dead on correct. And why did Bush direct the US government to protect Bin Laden's family? Because the Bushes and the Bin Ladens have been business partners for years.

So who does that leave? (0)

fyngyrz (762201) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137566)

Not arguing, really, but it brings up a question: What nation is the most free nation, then?

Personally, I think the USA was potentially the most free nation, but our government and our courts have never been able to live up to our constitution, and lately, things are getting worse a great deal faster than they were before. I look at our constitution these days and all I see is lost potential.

Re:So who does that leave? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137656)

Agreed 100%. American Republican | Bush | Gingrich | Fox | Military Industrial Complex.

The US is Rotting From Within (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137312)

I guess they finally figured out how to reverse the growing inequality gap in the US. Build a laser. Nice. Glad to see someone cares.

Drive through any mid to large sized US city and you see poverty abounds. The US is spending it's way into military greatness, only to later realize that it's the wrong greatness to achieve.

It IS the economy, STUPID.

This laser does nothing but burn money that should go to helping poor people scratch their way out of poverty.

MAH LAZER (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137350)

IMMA CHARGIN IT

Re:MAH LAZER (2, Funny)

Neitokun (882224) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137468)

Fool. You forgot to shoop da woop first.

Starcraft, anyone? (1)

Landshark17 (807664) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137358)

I read Yamamoto as Yamoto at first glance.

So close (4, Funny)

Stephen Tennant (936097) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137368)

Soon, America will wield the power to project an annoying red dot into any room in North Korea or Iran, disturbing and agitating ANY and ALL cats, and, if the resident is so foolish as to investigate... his very eyes may be irritated, and possibly damaged, after prolonged exposure!

WARNING (3, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137378)

Do not stare into laser with remaining co-worker.

Obligatory (1)

MassiveForces (991813) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137404)

Vaporware

Blind Soldiers (3, Interesting)

MrSteveSD (801820) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137498)

If such weapons make their way onto the battlefield, you're going to end up with a lot of blinded soldiers. Any beam powerful enough to be useful will be capable of blinding everyone near the target with the reflected light. In fact, if you put some kind of corner cube reflective coating on the target, there might be enough light sent back to the source to blind the people firing the beam.

Re:Blind Soldiers (1)

WalksOnDirt (704461) | more than 6 years ago | (#18137612)

If this does make it onto the battlefield, I expect the soldiers will wear goggles (yes, they do something) to efficiently block the wavelength used by this laser. There better not be any civilians around, though.

FIRST POST (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#18137616)

to the crowdf in who sell another
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