Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Life imitates art...

Anybody who ever saw the movie Real Genius figured this already happened:


A U.S. Pentagon invention could make air combat resemble a battle scene from the movie 'Star Wars' with a laser so small it can fit on a fighter jet, yet powerful enough to knock down an enemy missile in flight.

. . . .

To date, such lasers have been so bulky because of the need for huge cooling systems to stop them overheating, that they had to be fitted to large aircraft such as jumbo jets, New Scientist magazine reported on Wednesday.

But the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency reckons it has solved the problem by merging liquid and solid state lasers to cut the size and weight by "an order of magnitude", according to its Web site.

Liquid lasers can fire a continuous beam but need large cooling systems, while solid state laser beams are more intense but have to be fired in pulses to stop them overheating.

"We've combined the high energy density of the solid state laser with the thermal management of the liquid laser," New Scientist quoted project manager Don Woodbury as saying.



Also, there's a guy living in Don Woodbury's closet.

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