Our laser research has come a long way since it’s creation back in 1959. The lasers started off being used as pointers for presentations, but eventually we realized that we can use LASERS as weapons. However, despite our wildest scifi dreams, laser technology is still way to bulky to effectively be used as a weapon.
Our current military lasers require megawatts upon megawatts of energy, which render them useless when it comes to being carried out into the field by our armed forces.
But, thanks to TeraDiode, an MIT Lincoln Lab Spinoff, we might be getting closer to a future filled with laser weapons, faster than we think. TeraDiode is trying to commercialize direct-diode lases. A DDL, uses a “sophisticated optical system to manipulate individual beams to form a single output beam – a technique known as wavelength beam combining.” Pretty much, it combines several laser beams and turns them into one very powerful beam.
IF, they achieve to compact the laser technology, we might effectively have a laser weapon powerful enough to do some sort of damage. Then, new weapons will be developed using this technology, and the process is repeated all over again. You know how the weapons development usually goes… and before we know it, we’ll have something so powerful that can only be used as a “threat.”