Laser weapons: Is this the dawn of the death ray?

Read more on this subject: Weapons/Weaponry
News Story Source: newatlas.com By David Szondy
Almost 60 years later and it still seems that way, despite a remarkable degree of progress. Prototypes have been used to destroy small watercraft, shoot down missiles and drones, and have even been deployed at least once in a war zone, but the revolutionary destructive ray that would change the face of battle as fundamentally as the longbow or the airplane has yet to appear. So just what is the current state of laser weapons technology, and what does it hold in store for the future of warfare?

Why lasers?

Aside from looking incredibly cool, what is the point of a laser weapon? What advantages does it have over more conventional hardware? The most obvious one is that a laser is a beam of light and, as such, it travels at the speed of light. There's been significant talk about how impressive a hypersonic missile that can travel at Mach 7 (5,186 mph, 8,346 km/h) is, but light travels at 186,000 miles per second (300,000,000 meters per second). That works out to Mach 872,705. Tha
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