Are laser weapons a possible reality?Radiot73 - 6 Answers
As we speak R&D; is being done on "directed energy weapons" which will leave kinetic-energy weapons in the dust.
As early as WW-2 Japan was working feverishly for a "death ray" weapon. Their choice, the same thing that makes a microwave oven work; very short radio waves of radar which would literally cook an enemy. The experimented on animals and even possibly humans but their efforts came to very little. They could not produce enough power for this weapon to be a serious battlefield weapon. However, US Military researchers are on the brink of fielding directed energy weapons and have already tested out an airborne laser weapon in a modified Boeing 747. This was to come up with a defense against incoming ICBM warheads. Whatever has come out of that program is highly classified. All the Branches of the US Armed Forces; our Allies and many other nations are busily trying to develop directed energy weapons.
Lets discuss this more, if you would like to understand how powerful a laser can be and how much energy it takes to power a single shot check out this site: http://science.howstuffworks.com/laser-weapon.htm
Furthering the investment answer from skypilot, there are actual cases where the government has used a laser to shoot down a UAV: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-10201745-76.html
Finally, if you subscribe to Wired, next months issue will discuss some of the actual designs in use currently: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/01/sci-fi-weapons/
In theory laser weapons are a possible reality. The reason why we have not "seen" them yet is because we lack the technology to pack so much energy into a single burst. Laser weapons will eventually become a reality (if they aren't already and we just haven't been told) because they are very possible in theory and we have been improving this technology recently....
Odd question, because they already exist and are in use.
They are classified military weapons though, not something you can buy to impress your classmates with, if that is really what you are asking.
Laser weapons are a reality and have been around for a while and the government has spent 4.3 billion on them since 1994...