Photon Pop Guns

One Day. And in the midst of petrol shortage. So no gym until I can determine how much petrol I can access. So onto the stationary this morning for a bit of muscle bashing. And I forgot to pick up my MP3 player so much time to cogitate. In this case on my early days working for the Yankee Army.

I was hired to be a High Energy Laser (HEL) chap. Didn’t know much about lasers beyond my coursework on quantum mechanics and optics but I was game and anything nerdish would be preferable to the farce that was my job with a local defense contractor. What I got for work assignments would have insulted a college sophomore. And the management was ranged from tepid to insipid to blatantly incompetent. Not politician incompetent mind you but of a level that any self-respecting technical organization would regard as shameful and debasing.

The Yankee army was much better. Not that 0.9 of the managers weren’t incompetent but none were as incompetent as what I had seen in that defense contractor. 

Anyway, the YA was trying to build a tactical laser cannon, as well as decide whether it wanted to do so, and I settled in to learn about being an Army laser nerd. The hot topic then was propagation through the atmosphere and for HEL it’s non-linear. So since I was a bright young grad student type I didn’t know any better so I got assigned to work on propagation. The alternative was lab work on making test zappers into light bulbs – manufacturable – and evidently my lab klutz limitations had preceded me.

The reason I was thinking on this was I saw an article [Link] yesterday on how the YA was planning tactical laser cannon tests next year with deployment in about five years. I recalled similar rhetoric in the mid ’70’s of the last century. And when I looked at the pictures of the field unit

I was struck by the resemblance to

that similar things were said about 40 years ago. 

So I have to wonder what else may be similar?