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Science & Technology

US Army develops lightning weapon

By T.K. Randall
July 1, 2012 · Comment icon 29 comments

Image Credit: US Army
The military are experimenting with a laser-guided weapon that can fire bolts of lightning at targets.
Known as The Laser-Induced Plasma Channel ( or LIPC ), the weapon uses a laser to fire lightning bolts and has undergone significant testing in recent months. "If a laser puts out a pulse with modest energy, but the time is incredibly tiny, the power can be huge," said lead scientist George Fischer. "During the duration of the laser pulse, it can be putting out more power than a large city needs, but the pulse only lasts for two-trillionths of a second."

The device is not yet ready for use on the battlefield as it still needs to be made robust enough to survive in a firefight. It is thought however that it could make it's way to the front line at some point in the not-too-distant future.
US Army scientists are developing a weapon which can fire a laser-guided lightning bolt at a target. The Laser-Induced Plasma Channel (LIPC) is designed to hit targets that conduct electricity better than the air or ground that surrounds them.

Source: BBC News | Comments (29)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #20 Posted by pbarosso 12 years ago
the tesla weapon was never going to work.people give tesla way too much cred IMO. he would have never been able to get it to shoot very far. it would have arced to ground near the machine. the laser weapon is way more reliable because it is speed of light. there were stories about a lighning weapon used by the army during the invasion of Iraq. it supposedly melted a bus and armored car....witnesses came forward.
Comment icon #21 Posted by lightly 12 years ago
hm.. sounds like it might be a good start for a powerful and accurate means of wireless transmission of electricity ? All "radio" waves are part of the light spectrum.. so are lasers.
Comment icon #22 Posted by Spid3rCyd3 12 years ago
Reminds me of the stories of Mjolnir, and Zeus' supposed thunderbolt weapon(s). Although, I don't think Thor supposedly needed the hammer to generate the storms, it just focussed the ability? Probably same for Zeus.
Comment icon #23 Posted by 6constantine9 12 years ago
what bother's me is...when other countries doing like this...the americans try to prevent them...damn...
Comment icon #24 Posted by DieChecker 12 years ago
I think this has been around for quite a while. It is just that they've weaponized the technology now. This kind of laser guided lightning has been around for almost a decade. The stronger the laser, probably the further you could project the lightning. Probably would work better even in slightly smogy environments, such as urban centers, as there are more particles in the air to become plasma and carry the electricity along. Makes me think of the Tesla Towers from Command and Conquor. Those things were sweet. Just build walls to channel the enemy, build a large block of these towers and you e... [More]
Comment icon #25 Posted by puckmomma 12 years ago
We had this technology for years, ever hear of Star Wars, a laser that is attached to a satallite , or what about HAARP. We have had this technology, just that the public is becomming more aware.
Comment icon #26 Posted by sktm06 12 years ago
Wow, just seeing some comments here. You people actually seem intelligent, but post stuff so stoopido it's crazy.
Comment icon #27 Posted by jasmin9 12 years ago
this isnt good, now theres more of a chance of world war 3. i sugest finding bomb shelters
Comment icon #28 Posted by Lrak 12 years ago
They got inspiration from Storm of the X-Men.
Comment icon #29 Posted by FreddyScienceTeacher 12 years ago
Whenever a news release is posted on an official defense department website it is 1) very old news 2) often a red herring and 3) usually posted for reasons not obvious to the release.

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