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Chinese scientists develop small laser guns

Staff writer |
A team of Chinese researchers, led by Professor Zhi-Yuan Li of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Physics, decreased the size and mechanism that produces high-frequency laser down using a portable device the size of a suitcase.

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These can be easily mounted on tanks, aircrafts and can be used by the soldiers themselves.

"This is a groundbreaking achievement," said a professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing who requested anonymity in the issue.

"Nobody has generated a laser at such a high frequency on a single piece of crystal before. Their technology will significantly simplify the process of ultrafast laser production and reduce the size of relevant devices," added the anonymous professor.

The Protocol on Blinding Laser Weapons which was updated on October 1995, an international convention and treaty, bans the use of lasers and blinding weapons used against enemies. It states that it is prohibited to employ laser weapons specifically designed to cause permanent blindness to unenhanced vision like the naked eye.

Though China aims to use its newest laser guns on optical and thermal sensors on vehicles, drones, robots and aircraft, the possession of this kind of technology is still fair game. Aside from damaging enemy targets, it can also pick up encrypted communications and detect stealth aircraft.

The United States recently showed interest in developing the equipment for their military applications and operations. The U.S. Navy, for example, reportedly commissioned a research project in 2012 for the development of an ultrafast laser system to disable infrared sensors in missiles.

Despite developing many ways of making a high-frequency laser system, the process of building prototypes proved heavy. A portable laser device was deemed a daunting task to develop, not until China pioneered in its development.

The Chinese researchers were able to solve the problem by developing a special crystal that contains lithium and niobium, and has the ability to convert laser beam into high frequency waves. This is three times faster than the laser system used at present.

China has proved that science fiction can be used in the battlefield in the future, and things that were deemed impossible in the past may become reality in the long run. The portable laser system can be used in a lot of tactical missions soon.


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