Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race

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Springer US, Jan 1, 1984 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 363 pages
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I first wrote about laser weapons in 1976 in an article that was published in the October 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction. The article was fact, but a science fiction magazine seemed an appropriate place for it then. Now that the President of the United States can talk about beam weapons in deadly serious tones on national television, it seems time for a more serious look. This book is based on my analysis of information I've gathered in years of writing about laser technology. I have never had a security clearance, and though that limits the information I have been able to obtain, it means that I can say things that otherwise would be replaced by [deleted]. I have been watching the field long enough to play "fill in the blanks" with censored government documents and to make reasonable guesses of what many of the [deleted]s originally said. There are no simple answers here, just complex technical and defense issues that deserve careful study and that are important to the future of our nation and the world. The defense issues raised in the latter half of the book may seem more immediate to the general reader, but they are inevitably related to the technological background laid in Chapters 4-9. Throughout the book, I have documented my sources as much as possible, while respecting the confidentiality of information given in private.

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Contents

An Introduction to Beam Weaponry
1
An Outline of History
15
Beam Weapon Mythology
39
Copyright

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About the author (1984)

Jeff Hecht has written extensively about laser and optical technology. His books include Understanding Lasers, The Laser Guidebook, Beam: The Race to Make the Laser, and Understanding Fiber Optics. He is a contributing editor to Laser Focus World,  a correspondent for New Scientist magazine, and has written for many other magazines including IEEE Spectrum, Optics & Photonics News, and Technology Review.

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