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U.S. Army testing handheld energy weapon

U.S. Army testing handheld energy weapon
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A staple of science fiction movies is the energy weapon, also known as the laser guy, ray gun, particle weapon, energy blaster or whatever the movie script writer or book author decides to call it. Perhaps the most well-known energy weapon is the phaser from Star Trek, and the famous command, "Set phasers to stun."

Meanwhile, troops and law enforcement in the real world are stuck with projectile weapons. They're effective, but the basic principle is centuries old, and there's no real stun setting. OK, we do have Tasers, but those only have one or two shots, and the range is limited to just a few yards.

That's why plenty of researchers are looking to make real handheld energy weapons. However, there are a number of problems, and the biggest one is the massive power required.

Any operationally effective energy weapon is going to need a huge battery or power generator. The defense laser the Navy is testing requires a substantial ship with a hefty power plant, while the microwave beams the Army has require an entire vehicle.

This new electric gun has an interesting solution.

Next page: The future of energy weapons?
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