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Questions tagged [lasers]

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

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Laser finger guns

This is not really connected to my story but I had an idea of having finger guns that actually work. Because lasers are cool I thought that you could have a character with the ability to magically ...
Coolcats112's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
377 views

Could black holes be used to warp a laser transmission back to the point of origin?

I had an idea, in which humanity sends signals out (via Laser Communication), in a search for extraterrestrial life. As a result of gravitational lensing, the laser signals are eventually turned back ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
139 views

Could laser collisions be used as an interstellar dust deflector?

What inspired this question is this : I was once reading that a real effort is underway to dream up a 0.2c spaceship (0.2c means one fifth the speed of light). Another story I read tells that ...
HelloHiHola's user avatar
5 votes
7 answers
2k views

What would the effects of a space based laser weapon system capable of tracking and destroying any projectile posing a threat to human life?

Imagine a constellation of satellites equipped with sensors capable of identifying any object posing a risk to humans and targeting it with lasers to neutralize it. The constellation covers the entire ...
Michael Horwitz's user avatar
3 votes
8 answers
5k views

Is a world laser possible?

Right now, I am developing a weapon of mass destruction dubbed 'The World Laser'. Basically, the antagonist is trying to destroy the world completely by cutting it in half in a singular motion using a ...
TempzApex's user avatar
  • 373
4 votes
2 answers
430 views

Thermal Superconductors vs Pulse Lasers...in atmosphere

Based of a conversation with @Starfish Prime regarding the answers from this question here. In short, while the question itself had a satisfactory answer with it being that pulse lasers would ...
Seraphim's user avatar
  • 4,971
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Thermal Superconductors vs Pulse Lasers

How well can a thermal superconductor protect against pulse lasers? First off, what is a thermal superconductor? It is a material that has a theoretical infinite thermal conductivity, similar to what ...
Seraphim's user avatar
  • 4,971
14 votes
9 answers
4k views

Can lenses defend against lasers in space combat?

You have a spaceship, covered in steel armor. The enemy is shooting a laser at you in pulses intense enough to vaporize the steel. But you have a brilliant idea: float a big glass lens in front of ...
causative's user avatar
  • 7,302
0 votes
2 answers
304 views

How to protect against laser blinding warfare?

Here is the problem: You have a spaceship, with cameras and view ports, and there is a new laser technique going around: Simply shoot cameras with your laser, and blind anyone who tries to peer ...
Kraken Writhing's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
63 views

Viability of lasers in space [duplicate]

Specifically, if lasers were to be used as a weapon, or as a mining tool, for a spaceship, would it be at all practical? Most spaceships in my world are made of aluminum and/or titanium, at least ...
Kraken Writhing's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
314 views

Why is my laser’s effectiveness dependent on the target material?

This is for a moderately hard sci-if (as in, as real as I can get it, minus FTL & humanoid aliens) Side B has been captured by Side A, in order to get them to fight Side C. But Side B has a plan, ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
10 votes
11 answers
3k views

Would a laser resistant (heavily heat resistant?) armour for space ships have unfortunate consequences and would it still have to deal with heat?

Basically, I want to decisively put an end to any idea that lasers could be used in my space combat in any large degree. One of the solutions I've thought of is a world having advanced armour (either ...
Mandalore The Proud's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
661 views

What is the Distance needed for gravitational lensing for offensive lasers?

Space Navies A and B are on sufficiently distant orbits around a black hole. They are on similar orbits to each other, and neither side is risking going around the gravity well (for reasons). Lt. ...
Blue Skin and Glowing Red Eyes's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
3k views

Weapon damage assessment, or What hell have I unleashed?

In Weaponizing the return-energy channel of a one-way portal, I describe the function of a hermes portal, which are magical devices that, when activated by some command, create a connection to a ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 61.9k
3 votes
6 answers
987 views

Could a human brain be non-lethally manipulated by an array of overlapping masers (microwave lasers)?

Suppose a person's head is stabilized in the middle of a dome. The inside of the dome is lined with very fine, weak and accurate masers. Suppose then that these masers are set such that they may ...
Irving Washington's user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
3k views

Excuse for plasma, projectile, laser, and particle-beam weaponry to coexist?

My (science-based but certainly not hard sci-fi) world is basically a large island run by a couple of mad billionares. They have each built an army of aircraft armed with cliche "futuristic" ...
DutchTolkienist's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
743 views

Can Dusty Plasma radiators protect against lasers?

From Project Rho: http://www.projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/heatrad.php#:~:text=Dusty%20Plasma%C2%A0radiator%3A Example Image: https://twitter.com/toughsf/status/1154692082478526465 A dusty plasma ...
Wavedash's user avatar
  • 357
4 votes
1 answer
154 views

How much energy would flashtubes/rods need to receive to emit a pulsed laser strong enough to kill a human at 300 yards in less than a second?

Context: It is a military sci-fi story where they use technologies that are expensive today because they already became common place. For example, laser-induced-graphene supercapacitors, carbon ...
Fulano's user avatar
  • 209
4 votes
6 answers
1k views

Countering Free-Electron Lidar?

In my hard sci-fi setting, there is a technology called free-electron lidar, usually deployed in space. Edit: Essentially, it is a lidar with the ability to change its laser frequency. One free-...
Vegetable New Man's user avatar
-1 votes
3 answers
233 views

Beam Convergence?

I have a character that can release laser beams from both his hands and i just want to know if he can shoot these 2 lasers at a single point and converge causing it to become a singular stronger beam. ...
MaelstromV's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
355 views

How much resources would be needed to make significant damage with a chemical laser?

Context: It is the future and some sci-fi technologies are starting to be used, such as lasers. More specifically, chemical lasers. The thing is that I want to know about nowadays technologies in ...
Fulano's user avatar
  • 209
2 votes
1 answer
115 views

What Would Be The Consequences of An Asteroid Literally Falling Onto An Ice Sheet?

On this alternate Last Glacial Maximum Earth powerful psychics bring an asteroid into near earth orbit and deorbit it using entirely laser ablation. Bringing it carefully down onto the Laurentide Ice ...
Vakus Drake's user avatar
  • 2,646
5 votes
9 answers
2k views

Helmet that shoots lasers?

I have a character who wears a high-tech helmet with a high-powered laser mounted on it. Basically, the wearer “stares” at a stationary victim, and the laser is activated. The laser would take a short ...
Mark Price's user avatar
  • 2,438
11 votes
9 answers
1k views

Methods for mitigating impact of a large high speed cloud of dust in space

Vaughn Heppner wrote a science fiction series in which humans have to defend against a growing cyborg threat. The star of the series, Martin Kluge, comes up with a way to destroy a group of military ...
FontFamily's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
219 views

What are reasonable units of energy measurement for my sci-fi RPG?

I am currently creating my own custom sci-fi tabletop RPG system. While I'm willing to make concessions where necessary, my goal is to use plausible physics whenever possible, at least when it comes ...
ScienceKeanu's user avatar
  • 1,193
5 votes
2 answers
185 views

Obtaining laser

I did some research on electric dragons and found a post asking about it, in it there was a answer that mentioned an apparently chemical laser used to ionize the air and allow the electric discharge ...
Wizard King's user avatar
  • 2,704
4 votes
2 answers
340 views

What wavelength of electromagnetic energy is best suited for burning into a tank's hull?

Background: in my setting, there's a defensive directed-energy weapon installation that runs off of four gas turbine engines similar to the General Electric T64. Between the four of them, ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
4 votes
2 answers
188 views

How fast can an alien laser cannon be charged with a magnetic field?

I have some alien laser cannons that I pulled out of a perpetual hurricane. They're cylinders that are two feet long and one foot across. They can only be charged by magnetodynamic coupling - that is, ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
0 votes
1 answer
268 views

How would a 21st-century war play out if every country had these alien directed-energy weapons?

Before we get into the gigantic wall of text, here's the question: what applications would the following device have in a 21st-century war - asymmetric, conventional, nuclear, etc. - if every country ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 12.8k
1 vote
9 answers
2k views

Is it possible to have lasers that travel slower than light?

In science-fiction, what are referred to as "laser guns" are usually just plasma weapons that travel slower than the speed of light. But I want to have actual laser - not plasma - weapons in ...
just-a-hriday's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
121 views

Plasma windows as justification for Free Electron Lasers?

There are two main types of military lasers: Free Electron Lasers (FEL lasers from now on) and Medium Lasers. FEL lasers work by "wiggling" electrons through a line of magnets to create ...
lrCr's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
135 views

How powerful could lasers be at various sizes if the power source issue is solved? [closed]

How powerful and how long a range could lasers get with no power source issue at the sizes of: ~5-7 kilograms, man portable ~20 kilograms, semi man portable like the PTRS ~300 kilograms, wheeled ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,496
14 votes
21 answers
5k views

How to explain why the humans in my setting limit laser weapons to large anti-tank armaments instead of miniaturizing them

So, in my world, the human’s UEN military mainly uses conventional firearms as their primary infantry weapons. However, they do have one non-ballistic weapon: the heavy, shoulder mounted M/DEW-96C ...
DT Cooper's user avatar
  • 11.3k
19 votes
23 answers
6k views

Why wouldn't a space fleet use their lasers for a precision strike?

You are the admiral of a fleet of warships in orbit around Saturn (EDIT: the individual ships can be anywhere in the Saturnian system, including into Titan's orbit), tasked with performing a precision ...
Benjamin Hollon's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
147 views

Could a photon with negative, dark, or anti energy be used to create a freeze ray?

I'm not really a science whiz, but I know lasers generally use photons to increase the kinetic energy of atoms in their path, thus raising the temperature. Now I know electrons have negative energy, ...
Strivs's user avatar
  • 395
2 votes
0 answers
94 views

Features of a tricorder from 2060 [closed]

The tricorder (in the generic, non-trademarked sense) is a vital companion for any colonist to the outer Solar System. But what does it detect, and how? Passive imaging. Using superlens/hyperlens/...
Mike Serfas's user avatar
  • 21.8k
2 votes
2 answers
280 views

Copper Armor as defence against laser weaponry?

As I'm sure many of you educated folks on this stack exchange know, copper is one of the most heat-conductive common metals out there. My question: if, for some reason a society with early 20th ...
KaiGuyMBK's user avatar
  • 879
-5 votes
1 answer
116 views

What does it take to vaporize (Or possibly put a hole through) a planet? (G.R.B.C. Part 2/2) [closed]

Now, like, 40 minutes ago, I asked a question concerning a possible Gamma Ray Burst Cannon. And I was disappointed, to say the least, with the answers. So, it's time for Gamma Ray Burst Two: Electric ...
The Sophomore's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
485 views

Is a Gamma Ray Burst Cannon possible? (G.R.B.C. Part 1/2)

Now, for a little context, L.G.R.B.C.s, or Lesser Gamma Ray Burst Cannons, are extremely powerful weapons that are used almost exclusively by the Karan, a race of religious automatons that wish to ...
The Sophomore's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
495 views

Does the technology to create a laser weapon naturally provide defense from it?

In a space-faring, war-torn world with mostly-realistic technology, the engineers have been developing laser weaponry and defenses. All sides of the war have roughly equal technology. This question ...
LukeN's user avatar
  • 1,455
0 votes
0 answers
67 views

What are some realistic defenses against laser weapons in space? [duplicate]

In a mostly-realistic sci-fi setting (similar to the Expanse) there are spaceships, satellites, and drones who make use of high-powered lasers for weaponry - both for attack and for point defense. ...
LukeN's user avatar
  • 1,455
20 votes
8 answers
3k views

Wattage of Laser Rifle

Looking for a ballpark estimate of the wattage of a pulse laser that would do a similar amount of damage as a .22 LR round. Something farmers would use for pest control. This is for flavor in a far-...
Ryan Williamson's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
277 views

Is it possible to have a mecha act as a walking particle accelerator?

I am thinking of writing a story that is a remake/homage of classic Super Robot anime like Mazinger Z. Part of my idea is to make the main "heroic" robot as "realistic" as possible....
Jacob Blaustein's user avatar
14 votes
7 answers
2k views

Dramatic orbital spotlight feasibility and price

Background: It is the year 2021 and I am a reclusive and enigmatic billionaire with a flair for the dramatic. I would like a dramatic spotlight to shine down on me on command (at night), so that I can ...
Dragongeek's user avatar
  • 23.1k
3 votes
2 answers
600 views

Laser cooling a person

So in my story, I'm trying to develop a plausible freeze ray. Now many people suggest liquid helium, but it seems to have a number of practical setbacks, such as being hard to obtain, needing vast ...
Strivs's user avatar
  • 395
6 votes
3 answers
239 views

Shape of a Large Battle Laser?

If I have lasers being used as a primary weapon for spaceships in a realistic sci-fi setting, what would the proportions of the laser cannon itself be? Presumably the cannon would be cylindrical, but ...
FlyingLemmingSoup's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
216 views

External 'Stellaser' style beam weapons driven from 'plasma envelope' surrounding a spaceship - Hard Science Fiction

A previous question asked about the feasibility of reflective flakes of metal suspended in the plasma to absorb heat from the plasma and radiate it for cooling the craft: Plasma-shell and suspended ...
Toby Weston's user avatar
21 votes
5 answers
7k views

Would laser weapons have significant recoil?

I was bumming around Reddit the other day when I came across a discussion talking about how laser guns in Warhammer 40,000 have appreciable recoil, enough that a laser sniper rifle was described as ...
user2352714's user avatar
  • 13.9k
2 votes
1 answer
220 views

Realistic acceleration with Laser Propulsion for intra-stellar 1 million ton cargo ship

My question is about how realistic it is to imagine beamed solar energy accelerating a 1M ton or so vessel up to 600km/s or more within a few hours. I can look up the specific energy required to ...
dozTK421's user avatar
  • 385
2 votes
1 answer
250 views

What effect does an extremely high-powered laser have in atmosphere? Is it viable as a man-portable weapon? [duplicate]

Let's say that you are put in charge of man-portable weapons development for a civilisation so advanced that almost anything is possible. You decide that a "dial-a-yield" pulse laser system ...
GuestPerson's user avatar