We’ve all wanted one at one time or another. Someone betrays you, hurts you, or just severely annoys you, and bam! You pull your death ray out of your purse, your backpack, your holster, or your pocket, and you turn them to dust. It would be so satisfying.
But death rays aren’t real. Not yet, anyway. Not that that has stopped us from trying to build them. From Tesla to DARPA, individuals and organizations all around the world have sought to weaponize light itself, and although we have lasers, we don’t yet have death rays.
Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon chronicles the slow, steady development of the field as a whole as well as the publicized big swings in laser weapon technology like the SDI project, the Airborne Laser, THEL, and so on.
It’s a curious, circuitous journey that has led to leaps forward in all sorts of fields including radar, scanning, information transfer, even entertainment, but ironically not death rays. Time and time again, human ingenuity crashes headlong into the realities of scientific law.
But books about repeated failure are rarely this informative or entertaining. Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon is a window into both modern science and the military from an unexpected angle.
Reviewed By: Glenn Dallas