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"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
- Frederik Pohl

Lasgun  
  A continuous-wave laser projector; can be used as a weapon or as a cutting tool.  

The lasgun is another in a series of laser-based weapons; the descendant of the "blasters" of the science fiction of the 1920's.

Kynes took a deep breath, said: "This door should hold for at least twenty minutes against all but a lasgun."

"They'll not use a lasgun for fear we've shields on this side," Paul said.

From Dune, by Frank Herbert.
Published by Putnam in 1965
Additional resources -

Its use as a weapon is limited by subatomic fusion that occurs when the beam of a lasgun (offensive weapon) intersects that of a shield using the Holtzman field (defensive weapon). See the blaster (1925) from When the Green Star Waned by Nictzin Dyalhis, the neutron blaster (1951), from The Complete Paratime, by H. Beam Piper and the heat ray from The War of the Worlds (1898), by H.G. Wells.

Compare to nuclear shears from Foundation (1951) by Isaac Asimov, the toaster from Accidental Flight (1952) by WF Wallace, the Slaver disintegrator from Ringworld (1970) by Larry Niven and the atomic torch from One Against the Legion (1939) by Jack Williamson.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dune
  More Ideas and Technology by Frank Herbert
  Tech news articles related to Dune
  Tech news articles related to works by Frank Herbert

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