The E-Bomb: How America's New Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Future Wars Will Be Fought

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9780306814020: The E-Bomb: How America's New Directed Energy Weapons Will Change the Way Future Wars Will Be Fought
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In science fiction, futuristic soldiers are often shown wielding light emitting weapons-Flash Gordon used a ray gun, Captain Kirk carried a phaser, and Darth Vader brandished a light saber. But, today, the imagined future of science fiction is soon to be a reality. After more than two decades of research, the United States is on the verge of deploying a new generation of weapons that discharge light-wave energy, the same spectrum of energy found in your microwave, or in your TV remote control. They're called "directed-energy weapons"-lasers, high-powered microwaves, and particle beams-and they signal a revolution in weaponry, perhaps, more profound than the atomic bomb. The first directed-energy (DE) weapons are being tested right now, and their deployment is planned in the very near future. In The E-Bomb, author J. Douglas Beason, Ph.D. and a leading U.S. expert in directed-energy research, will explain in clear and non technical prose these exotic new weapons and answer the questions that all Americans will ask: What is Directed Energy? How do DE weapons work? What can these DE weapons do? And are these weapons safe to use? As the once-imagined weapons of the future begin to appear on today's battlefields, the timely publication of The E-Bomb will help explain how and why the future is now.

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About the Author:

Doug Beason, Ph.D., Col. (U.S.A.F., Ret.), a key architect of and leading expert in directed-energy research for the past twenty-six years, holds a doctorate in lasertechnology physics. He has served at the White House, working for the President's Science Advisor in both the Clinton and Bush administrations in the 1990s. Today he is Associate Director of Threat Reduction at Los Alamos National Laboratory and serves on the Board of Directors of the Directed Energy Professional Society. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

From Publishers Weekly:

Dramatic book title notwithstanding, there is no e-bomb. The military is testing, however, a series of directed energy weapons ranging from lasers to microwaves. Beason, a physicist and the associate director of Los Alamos National Laboratory, offers a spirited defense of these new weapons and their likely impact on the battlefield. He traces their development over the past three decades and notes that they are now on the threshold of deployment. Despite his enthusiasm for technological solutions to military threats;"The size of the army matters," he writes, "but technology wins wars";Beason concedes that lasers and microwaves are not without their critics, including leading scientists and military officers. Nevertheless, he believes that doubts can be dispelled by addressing people's natural fear of new technology. Beason argues that directed energy applications are already commonplace;LASIK surgery, DVD players, etc.;and explains the science in terms that ordinary people can grasp, despite the occasional references to Fresnel equations. He also gives the reader a peek at some of the directed energy weapons that the military is currently testing, including Active Denial, a nonlethal, low-power microwave weapon that can be mounted on a Humvee. Despite Beason's cheerleading style, this is a solid introduction to directed energy weapons. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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