In every science fiction story, the author seems to use a different color of laser for his ships, usually to distinguish sides in a fight. X-Wings are red. Tie fighters green. The Enterprise has orange phasers, the Borg green.
Leaving aside the fact that you shouldn't be able to see lasers in space, I want to know if there is any technological reason to prefer one laser color to another in space combat, or even to use a laser color not in the visible spectrum, (for that ultra sneaky affect).
We know from physics that different wavelengths of light hold different amounts of energy. The smaller the wavelength and the further along you are in the blue spectrum, the more energy an individual photon has.
If you shot a laser with the same total energy in red or violet light, would one burn through the hull of an enemy ship first or have any other advantage?
Other factors that could make one laser wavelength superior to another are: Would changing the laser's light wavelength make it quicker to fire or be able to fire more frequently because of the energy requirements?
Would the metal of the enemy hull change what wavelenght of light could melt it quicker?
In the end, I want to know what is the optimum laser color for destroying an enemy spacecraft or what factors I can use to figure this out for my own world.