Military readies directed-energy weapons

What could be cooler than zapping animals from a few dozens yards away? Apparently nothing overall important for Peter Anthony Schlesinger. While this experiment seems pretty odd it does have some uses according to the U.S. military. It could be used to paralyze attackers, disable missiles, and even disable vehicles. That is if PETA doesn't put an end to the chick experiment.

A few months from now, Peter Anthony Schlesinger hopes to zap a laser beam at a couple of chickens or other animals in a cage a few dozen yards away.

If all goes as planned, the chickens will be frozen in mid-cluck, their leg and wing muscles paralyzed by an electrical charge created by the beam, even as their heart and lungs function normally. Among those most interested in the outcome will be officials at the Pentagon, who helped fund Schlesinger's work and are looking at this type of device to do a lot more than just zap a chicken.

Devices like these, known as directed-energy weapons, could be used to fight wars in coming years. "When you can do things at the speed of light, all sorts of new capabilities are there," said Delores Etter, a former undersecretary of defense for science and technology and an advocate of directed-energy weapons. Directed energy could bring numerous advantages to the battlefield in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where U.S. troops have had to deal with hostile but unarmed crowds as well as dangerous insurgents.

News source: CNN

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