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"I think crypto will slowly percolate its way up and people will adopt it gradually as user friendly, cheap products, become available."
- Neal Stephenson

Light-Sword  
  A laser tuned for use as a cutting tool.  

Conflict arises on the Ringworld, and Louis Wu has need for training received earlier in his 200 year long life.

Light-swords, laser weapons, had een used on all the worlds. Louis's training was a century old, and the war he had trained for hadn't happened after all. But the rules were too simple to forget.

The slower the swing, the deeper the cut.

From Ringworld, by Larry Niven.
Published by Ballantine in 1970
Additional resources -

More rules for fighting with a light-sword may be found in the book.

This is a similar concept to the lightsaber of Star Wars fame; the earliest reference to something like this that I can find is the force-field penknife by Isaac Asimov.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ringworld
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
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  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

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