Posted on June 9, 2012


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The ray gun, a weapon which uses some form of directed energy to blast a target, has long been a staple of futuristic (or historic in the case of Star Wars) science fiction.  It’s what inspires average people, out of the blue, to point a finger at other people and make “pew, pew!” noises.  And why not?  After all, to some geeks, bullets just aren’t cool enough.  So how do they work?


First of all I’ll talk about the MASER (Microwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).  Never heard of it?  I’m not surprised.  It’s similar to what the Japanese tried to develop in WWII.  Japan, Germany, and the United States had the choice of developing a fission weapon or a death ray.  The US and Germany both opted for fission.  Japan went for the death ray.  They lost.  And the rest, as they say, is history.  The…

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