The Navy just set a new world record, a test blast from a new type of laser that can shoot cruise missiles from the sky in seconds with a deadly accuracy that simply doesn’t exist in the military’s vast arsenal today.
And that new record moved them one step closer to proving the “holy grail” of laser guns is real.
To create incredible power requires incredible energy. After all, the more power one puts into a laser accelerator, the more powerful and precise the light beam that comes out on the other end. During a private tour of the Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA., on Friday, FoxNews.com saw scientists blast unprecedented levels of power into a prototype accelerator, producing a supercharged electron beam that can burn through 20 feet of steel per second.
Scientists there, in coordination with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), injected a sustained 500 kilovolts (KV) of juice into a prototype accelerator where the existing limit had been 320 kV — a world’s record, the scientists explained.
“This is brand new — it has not been done before, in the world,” said Carlos Hernandez-Garcia, director of the injector and electron gun systems for the FEL (Free Electron Laser) program, who added that Friday’s breakthrough was the culmination of six years of development.