Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon

Author:   Jeff Hecht
Publisher:   Prometheus Books
ISBN:  

9781633884601


Pages:   320
Publication Date:   03 January 2019
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
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Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon


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Full Product Details

Author:   Jeff Hecht
Publisher:   Prometheus Books
Imprint:   Prometheus Books
Weight:   0.567kg
ISBN:  

9781633884601


ISBN 10:   1633884600
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   03 January 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  General
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   To order   Availability explained
Stock availability from the supplier is unknown. We will order it for you and ship this item to you once it is received by us.

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Reviews

A fun read through 2,200 years of history of directed-energy weapons and their progenitors, from Archimedes to Edward Teller. With laser weapons at last moving toward the battlefield, it couldn't be timelier. --Robert Zubrin, author of The Case for Space and president of Pioneer Astronautics The first human ancestor who had to squint looking at the sun knew the power of light, and human nature being what it is, weaponizing light was only a matter of time. Now, in Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon, Jeff Hecht brings together the tales of the warriors and science fiction writers who have imagined versions of that weapon, and the inventors and scientists who have tried to make it a reality. Nobody knows more about laser history than Hecht, and his latest is a fine, entertaining addition to the field. Reading it will keep Darth Vader and the Jedi up at night, looking for new tweaks to their lightsabers. --Nick Taylor is the author of LASER: The Inventor, the Nobel Laureate, and the Thirty-Year Patent War Hecht's book is undoubtedly the most comprehensive documentation of the history of death rays from the first glimmers of fiction until the very latest results. He captures everything on the subject, including the wildest dreams, the frauds, and the outstanding achievements of science and engineering. This book is for any serious laser researcher and developer, as well as those interested in the history of how science, invention, and engineering have always been pursued in the quest for the ultimate weapon. --Gerald Yonas, author of Death Rays and Delusions and former chief scientist of the Strategic Defense Initiative Who can resist a book about death rays? Jeff Hecht's long-overdue work is more than that, however. This book is a look at energy weapons from their earliest origins, to current applications, to a peek into their assured future. It is a rare combination of thorough research and engaging, entertaining narrative that will keep you reading to the end. This book deserves a place on the bookshelf of any enthusiast of science fiction, science tech, and . . . death rays! --Rod Pyle, author of Interplanetary Robots, journalist, and senior editor of Ad Astra magazine The most complete, compelling history of the US government's quest to develop the ultimate laser weapon, a 'death ray, ' able to destroy nuclear-tipped cruise and ballistic missiles. Hecht skillfully reveals the science and politics surrounding the laser's development as a weapon. In doing so, he reveals a basic truth: politics, as well as science, plays a critical role in the development of high-tech weapons. I strongly recommend this book to anyone seeking insight into the inner workings of our military-industrial complex, as well as the current state of laser weapons. --Louis A. Del Monte, bestselling author of Genius Weapons, Nanoweapons, and The Artificial Intelligence Revolution Lasers are awesome, especially big ones. Hecht gives this topic its rightful due by deftly weaving together thrilling history and fascinating physics. --Paul M. Sutter, astrophysicist and author of Your Place in the Universe


Who can resist a book about death rays? Jeff Hecht's long-overdue work is more than that, however. This book is a look at energy weapons from their earliest origins, to current applications, to a peek into their assured future. It is a rare combination of thorough research and engaging, entertaining narrative that will keep you reading to the end. This book deserves a place on the bookshelf of any enthusiast of science fiction, science tech, and . . . death rays! --Rod Pyle, author of Interplanetary Robots, journalist, and senior editor of Ad Astra magazine The most complete, compelling history of the US government's quest to develop the ultimate laser weapon, a 'death ray, ' able to destroy nuclear-tipped cruise and ballistic missiles. Hecht skillfully reveals the science and politics surrounding the laser's development as a weapon. In doing so, he reveals a basic truth: politics, as well as science, plays a critical role in the development of high-tech weapons. I strongly recommend this book to anyone seeking insight into the inner workings of our military-industrial complex, as well as the current state of laser weapons. --Louis A. Del Monte, bestselling author of Genius Weapons, Nanoweapons, and The Artificial Intelligence Revolution Lasers are awesome, especially big ones. Hecht gives this topic its rightful due by deftly weaving together thrilling history and fascinating physics. --Paul M. Sutter, astrophysicist and author of Your Place in the Universe


A fun read through 2,200 years of history of directed-energy weapons and their progenitors, from Archimedes to Edward Teller. With laser weapons at last moving toward the battlefield, it couldn't be timelier. --Robert Zubrin, author of The Case for Space and president of Pioneer Astronautics The first human ancestor who had to squint looking at the sun knew the power of light, and human nature being what it is, weaponizing light was only a matter of time. Now, in Lasers, Death Rays, and the Long, Strange Quest for the Ultimate Weapon, Jeff Hecht brings together the tales of the warriors and science fiction writers who have imagined versions of that weapon, and the inventors and scientists who have tried to make it a reality. Nobody knows more about laser history than Hecht, and his latest is a fine, entertaining addition to the field. Reading it will keep Darth Vader and the Jedi up at night, looking for new tweaks to their lightsabers. --Nick Taylor is the author of LASER: The Inventor, the Nobel Laureate, and the Thirty-Year Patent War Hecht's book is undoubtedly the most comprehensive documentation of the history of death rays from the first glimmers of fiction until the very latest results. He captures everything on the subject, including the wildest dreams, the frauds, and the outstanding achievements of science and engineering. This book is for any serious laser researcher and developer, as well as those interested in the history of how science, invention, and engineering have always been pursued in the quest for the ultimate weapon. --Gerold Yonas, author of Death Rays and Delusions and former chief scientist of the Strategic Defense Initiative Few humans know laser technology better than Jeff Hecht, who tells the story with zest, from the thunderbolts of Zeus to the slicing rays of science fiction. We've long anticipated what is arriving right now. For better or worse, we should know how these godlike tools came into our hands and what they can do. --David Brin, author of Existence, The Postman, and The Transparent Society Who can resist a book about death rays? Jeff Hecht's long-overdue work is more than that, however. This book is a look at energy weapons from their earliest origins, to current applications, to a peek into their assured future. It is a rare combination of thorough research and engaging, entertaining narrative that will keep you reading to the end. This book deserves a place on the bookshelf of any enthusiast of science fiction, science tech, and . . . death rays! --Rod Pyle, author of Interplanetary Robots, journalist, and senior editor of Ad Astra magazine The most complete, compelling history of the US government's quest to develop the ultimate laser weapon, a 'death ray, ' able to destroy nuclear-tipped cruise and ballistic missiles. Hecht skillfully reveals the science and politics surrounding the laser's development as a weapon. In doing so, he reveals a basic truth: politics, as well as science, plays a critical role in the development of high-tech weapons. I strongly recommend this book to anyone seeking insight into the inner workings of our military-industrial complex, as well as the current state of laser weapons. --Louis A. Del Monte, bestselling author of Genius Weapons, Nanoweapons, and The Artificial Intelligence Revolution Lasers are awesome, especially big ones. Hecht gives this topic its rightful due by deftly weaving together thrilling history and fascinating physics. --Paul M. Sutter, astrophysicist and author of Your Place in the Universe Few humans know laser technology better than Jeff Hecht, who tells the story with zest, from the thunderbolts of Zeus to the slicing rays of science fiction. We've long anticipated what is arriving right now. For better or worse, we should know how these godlike tools came into our hands and what they can do. --David Brin, author of Existence, The Postman, and The Transparent Society


Who can resist a book about death rays? Jeff Hecht's long-overdue work is more than that, however. This book is a look at energy weapons from their earliest origins, to current applications, to a peek into their assured future. It is a rare combination of thorough research and engaging, entertaining narrative that will keep you reading to the end. This book deserves a place on the bookshelf of any enthusiast of science fiction, science tech, and . . . death rays! --Rod Pyle, author of Interplanetary Robots, journalist, and senior editor of Ad Astra magazine The most complete, compelling history of the US government's quest to develop the ultimate laser weapon, a 'death ray, ' able to destroy nuclear-tipped cruise and ballistic missiles. Hecht skillfully reveals the science and politics surrounding the laser's development as a weapon. In doing so, he reveals a basic truth: politics, as well as science, plays a critical role in the development of high-tech weapons. I strongly recommend this book to anyone seeking insight into the inner workings of our military-industrial complex, as well as the current state of laser weapons. --Louis A. Del Monte, bestselling author of Genius Weapons, Nanoweapons, and The Artificial Intelligence Revolution Lasers are awesome, especially big ones. Hecht gives this topic its rightful due by deftly weaving together thrilling history and fascinating physics. --Paul M. Sutter, astrophysicist and author of Your Place in the Universe


Author Information

Jeff Hecht is an award-winning freelance science and technology writer, a longtime contributor to New Scientist magazine, a contributing editor of Laser Focus World magazine, and the author of thirteen books, including Introduction to Laser Technology, 4th ed. (with Breck Hitz and J. J. Ewing); Understanding Lasers, 3rd ed.; Understanding Fiber Optics, 5th ed.; Beam- The Race to Make the Laser; City of Light- The Story of Fiber Optics; and Laser Pioneers. He has also published articles in Nature, IEEE Spectrum, Sky & Telescope, and other publications. He is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and a life senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

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