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Questions tagged [lasers]

Questions about monochromatic, coherent light sources working by stimulated emission.

7
votes
2answers
216 views

Stellaser Part I: Trial by stellar Fire or The best design out of three for a solar powered 5 Petawatt laser?

I´m building a hard-sifi setting and want to use Stellasers (abbreviation for stellar laser) to provide thrust and power to interstellar vessels. This part one is only concerned with the construction ...
4
votes
3answers
168 views

What would a lethal laser attack by a sorcerer look like?

In a magic system that allowed the manipulation of energy by sorcerers, what would a bystander observe during such an attack? Some details are relevant: As I understand it, lasers are visible due to ...
3
votes
1answer
85 views

Laser Induced Plasma Channel Inspired Gun

The idea is for a gun that was manufactured by revolting mining colonists from existing mining lasers, as such a weapon would be easily procured from their own resources. The weapon itself would be ...
25
votes
12answers
9k views

Why Laser “Guns”? [closed]

We all love laser guns (which are usually plasma weaponry) but why guns? It's not like we need the long barrel for making it more accurate or the stock to control recoil. So why guns and why not ...
4
votes
3answers
225 views

Could you liquefy an asteroid to collect its resources?

Suppose you could pump a load of energy into an asteroid at a safe distance. As energy gets added to the object, does it make sense that this could be done in a way to get the asteroid to ...
5
votes
2answers
125 views

What is a reasonable energy solution for a proposed solar system wide Laser Propulsion array?

In my fiction I'm setting up a civilization which uses Laser Propulsion for moving things between bodies within a solar system (assume Earth/sun analogy). Laser Units have been set up anchored to ...
3
votes
1answer
146 views

What are the limits of energy density? [closed]

I'm writing a story where in the future bullets have become obsolete as batteries have become cheap and very energy dense, so much that making defensive lasers that are able to vaporize bullets before ...
8
votes
19answers
5k views

How to protect your ship against TW-range lasers?

Let's say you live in a war-torn universe, with sub-FTL intertellar travel, big ships, big railguns and big ship-mounted railguns. At some point, people (read engineers) realized that fast moving red-...
20
votes
13answers
6k views

Why might plasma weapons have different colors, even when made by the same manufacturer?

So, I plan to write a graphic novel that takes place in the 26th century. By then, humans have stopped using the old slugthrowers and have upgraded to something more.....eloquent. In mean, if you're ...
5
votes
1answer
238 views

Optimum wavelength for ground-based laser weapons

In a futuristic setting where people are worried about enemy spacecraft doing things like dropping bombs from orbit, and are building ground-based lasers to shoot back, Given that such weapons have ...
-3
votes
2answers
255 views

How humane are laser weapons? [closed]

Would a realistic laser weapon be incredibly painful for a human level of pain sensitivity? I'm making a story where a very high tech AI will come into conflict with a group with earth like ...
-4
votes
1answer
202 views

Can liquid nuclear fuel be injected and ignited like petro from a fuel injector?

[![enter image description here][5]][5] Model Lightcraft under laser power While sadly the funding for this research has not been forthcoming, there have been proof of principle flights and open air ...
1
vote
5answers
839 views

By what mechanism can lasers destroy an entire planet?

What circumstances must be met in order to destroy a planet with just a single laser beam hit? If this is possible at all then, please, try to provide some possible details: an approximate energy of ...
-1
votes
2answers
256 views

Could an electromagnetic shield that keeps cosmic radiation work against a laser?

I started looking into new ways of forcing capital ships to fight in close range for a game I am developing. The game is a starfighter-centered space combat simulator, so having ships fighting ...
22
votes
8answers
3k views

Can I overcome the bandwidth limitation on my photonic railways?

The Humern Empire is a vast, well established empire that spans the galaxy. Despite having no FTL travel they have kept their empire together with a series of subluminal transport methods. Heavy ...
3
votes
2answers
367 views

How powerful can a handheld laser be?

I wanna make a microwave gun for futuristic infantry that's both smaller than a rifle and able to output a megawatt's worth of power for a sustained period of a few seconds. Is this possible in a gun ...
19
votes
13answers
10k views

Can a laser in outer space really appear as visible “bullets”?

Inspired by Star Wars and other sci-fi space series, we often see their ships shooting lasers as a "big needle", shot three or four times consecutively to perform a volley of laser fire, similar to ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

What happens to asteroids when heated into a plasma?

I'm looking to build a scientifically plausible mining laser for my science fiction setting. The first approach that came to mind was a high-power laser that heats the surface asteroid until it ...
4
votes
3answers
369 views

Gravitational lenses for focusing giant lasers

There is an interstellar civilization somewhere between K2 and K3 and they have managed to build a dozen Nicoll-Dyson beams. These are megastructures which collect the entire power of a star, and pump ...
10
votes
5answers
877 views

Could it be possible to build a Pew Pew Laser?

What I'm talking about is a gun that shoots red laser beams at the speed of light in pulses in an equivalent of semiautomatic fire, delivering electromagnetic damage to an enemy that melts through his ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Using lasers to stop bullets

There's a real fence that uses lasers to cut off the wings of insects to keep them out. Is it possible to extend this technology to burn bullets into ash before they hit anything? Limit on minimum ...