Multimode Directed Energy Armament System
The Multimode Directed Energy Armament System uses an ultra-short pulse laser to
open up a portal between worlds create an narrow channel of ionized air. Once established, however briefly, you can then send very satisfying bursts of energy.
The weapon's range will depend on the laser-generated channel. Previously such channels have been limited to tens of metres, but the ARDEC team believe it may be possible to extend this to a kilometre or more. "The concept is solid and the only issues are with engineering - the physics works," says Carlo Kopp, who researches electromagnetic pulse weapons at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
(>Multimode Directed Energy Armament System)
This device might be usable in destroying roadside bombs, neuter incoming missiles, fry the ignition of a fleeting car and so forth.
I can't find a picture of what the device looks like. (The Joint Nonlethal Weapons Directorate site seems to be unavailable.) However, if it's portable, I'm hoping it looks kind of like this.
(Proton pack from Ghostbusters [Columia Pictures])
In passing, I thought I'd mention that the first use of the phrase "ray gun" is probably found in John W. Campbell's 1930 story The Black Star Passes.
From Wired and New Scientist. Thanks to Moira for the tip and the reference for this story.
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