What's the most damage our most powerful laser can do?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by John J. Bannan, Jul 2, 2007.

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  1. superstring01 Moderator

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    The most powerful lasers on Earth can explode even the smallest natural particles. That's quite powerful... it's just that they are so goddamned big.

    Now... as far as weapons go-- we'll have miniturized rail guns before we use lasers.... besides, they are way cooler anyway.

    ~String
     
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  3. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

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    Combo railgun laser? Laser softens armor, railgun round pierces like a needle?
     
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  5. RickyH Valued Senior Member

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  7. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    hard luck - they're the next "big thing".
    And the USN is looking at rail guns as a naval gunfire support weapon.
    Trials started last year IIRC.
    FCS (Future Combat System) = next generation tank is/ was looking at dual-calibre 23/35 mm rail gun as its main weapon.
     
  8. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Neither of which contradicts my statements about there being no good sources or optics for gamma rays.

    The only way to make gamma rays is with nuclear processes like radioactive decay/fission. Most schemes for gamma ray laser weapons involve using nuclear weapons as the gamma source - fine if want to shoot at things in space with remotely guided drone weapons, but completely useless if you want a weapon that you can carry around with you or mount on a vehicle.

    The DOD was really into grasers for a while, but one of the biggest problems with them is that you have to aim your lasing rod directly at the target when the gamma ray-producing bomb detonates because you can't redirect the beam with optics like you could with an ordinary laser. It's almost impossible to aim them over long distances, especially since your aim is likely to be thrown off at the last moment as the nuke detonates.
     
  9. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    It’s quite possible – the US tested some back in the 70s. They gave up on them because they couldn’t figure out a way to aim them.
     
  10. Sputnik Banned Banned

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    When I think of highpowered lasers , I always think of this "lightcraft" that rocketed into the air while rotating - shoot up by a laserbeam .............

    I saw it on Discovery Channel around year 2000 , where the people behind the project very proudly said, they were sponsored by NASA and US airforce ,
    telling everybody, that they were going to launch this thing into space one day - even as a big shuttle with humans inside it ......
    They also revealed that the propulsion was made by air exploding just below the craft due to the immense power of the ground laser beams ........

    Shortly after this program on Discovery Channel they lost all their fundings - explanations were never given .......

    I guess some bright guy figured out how much air there would be in space to make the propulsion ......vacuum .....:m:

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    http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/laser_propulsion_000705.html
     
  11. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    Okay:
    http://www.europhysicsnews.com/full/23/article5/article5.html
    And a bomb may not be needed:
    From
    http://physicsweb.org/articles/world/12/5/3
     
  12. Nasor Valued Senior Member

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    Oli, from your own link:

    "A gamma ray laser would offer many applications because of the short wavelength and because of the high power density. Despite the considerable efforts of many groups, there still exists no idea of how to build such a device using present technology and our available knowledge of laser, nuclear and atomic physics."

    Yeah, it's theoretically possible that with futuristic advanced technology we might be able to make useful graser weapons. But we don't have the technology to do it at the moment, and it will probably be a very long time before we do. We are much, much closer to building useful laser weapons than useful graser weapons.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  13. Zorlac Registered Member

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    Keep in mind that anything the general public knows about is about 30 years behind whatever the government knows about.
     
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