By Jeff Hecht
I first wrote approximately laser guns in 1976 in a piece of writing that was once released within the October 1977 factor of Analog technological know-how Fiction. the object was once 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 critical tones on nationwide tv, it kind of feels time for a extra critical glance. This publication relies on my research of knowledge i have accumulated in years of writing approximately laser know-how. i have not had a safety clearance, and although that limits the knowledge i've been in a position to receive, it signifies that i will say issues that another way will be changed via [deleted]. i've been observing the sector lengthy sufficient to play "fill within the blanks" with censored executive files and to make average guesses of what a number of the [deleted]s initially stated. There are not any easy solutions right here, simply advanced technical and security concerns that deserve cautious examine and which are vital to the way forward for our country and the realm. The safeguard concerns raised within the latter 1/2 the publication could appear extra instant to the final reader, yet they're necessarily on the topic of the technological heritage laid in Chapters 4-9. through the publication, i've got documented my assets up to attainable, whereas respecting the confidentiality of knowledge given in private.
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Extra resources for Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race
14 Gould, Schawlow, Townes, and most other participants in the great laser race were trying to build gas lasers. That is, their goal was to deposit energy into a gas and get a laser beam out, a process described in more detail in Chapter 4. In theory, a gas looked like the best choice, and indeed today there is a large variety of gas lasers in regular use. However, certain solid materials can also be made to produce laser emission, a fact that- was recognized by the winner of the great laser race, Theodore H.
One exception was Gordon Gould, a graduate student in physics at Columbia, but not working directly under Townes. Gould worked out his own conception of the optical maser, which he says was independent of Townes's work-an assertion with which Townes disagrees. 14 Gould wrote up extensive notes on the concept in which he coined the word laser from light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. Gould had always wanted to be an inventor, and instead of going the usual route of publishing his results in scholarly journals, he applied for a patent.
Arthur C. Clarke, "Introduction" to H. G. Wells, The Invisible Man and The War of the Worlds (Washington Square Press, New York, 1965), p. xvii. 9. Edward L. , Modern Radar: Theory, Operation and Maintenance, 2nd ed (Tab Books, Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania, 1981), p. 23. Turning Fiction into Fact 0 37 lO. Ibid, p. 17. 11. For a fuller description of the roots of the laser, see Bela A. Lengyel, "Evolution of Masers and Lasers," American Journal of Physics 34, 903-913 (October 1966). 12. This race is covered in Lengyel's paper (Ref.