Laser is a quantum optical generator. Today there are no combat lasers, except for the American ALTB (military laboratory with a prototype of such weapons on board). Everything else is just R&D.
Laser weapons (the so-called "death rays") excite the imagination of both ordinary people and scientists. Recently, the media have been filled with information about the developments in different countries of this type of weapon. There are also reports of practical experiments with him. What is it all about and what is the actual situation in this area today?
Laser weapons are based on the use of high-energy electromagnetic directional radiation, which is generated by various kinds of lasers. Its action is determined by shock-pulse and thermomechanical effects, which can lead to mechanical destruction of the affected object, as well as temporary blinding of a person. If awork is performed in a pulsed mode, with a high energy density, then the thermal effect is accompanied by a shock effect.
Laser weapons, according to the principle of action, are divided into blinding, burning, overheating, electromagnetic-pulse and projection (project pictures on clouds, which can demoralize an unprepared enemy).
Currently, chemical, nuclear-pumped X-ray, solid-state and free electron lasers are considered the most suitable for use.
In the last decade, laser weapons have been improving at a particularly rapid pace. This is due to the transition from pumping its active elements with a lamp method to energy pumping with the help of laser diodes. The ability to generate radiation with different wavelengths makes it possible to use it both for force impact on the target and for transmitting information.
Now work is underway to create X-ray lasers, the radiation of which is 100-10000 times greater than the energy of lasers in the optical range. It is able to penetrate even through large thicknesses of different materials. The X-ray laser strikes the target with a pulsed impact that causes the surface material of the targets to evaporate.
Laser weapons are characterized by ste alth (no smoke, flame, sound), high accuracy, their action is almost instantaneous, comparable to the speed of light. But its destructive effect depends on the transparency of the atmosphere,therefore, in adverse weather conditions (fog, snowfall, rain, smoke, etc.), it decreases.
What is Russia's laser weapon? Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said that in Russia, as well as in the world, work is underway on a combat laser. Then he added that "it is premature to talk about his characteristics."
Thus, Russia's promising weapons are not yet directly related to the laser. So say the official sources. Although the Russian Federation was the first country to achieve significant results in this area. She began developing tactical weapons before the United States and has prototypes of high-precision chemical combat lasers.