We at PopSci appreciate new weapons. And lasers. And laser weapons. Which is why we're excited to tell you that the Navy and the Marines have given a company called Applied Electronics about a million dollars to attach lasers onto planes. The weapons would be ultra-short-pulse (USP) lasers, which shoot beams of frequent-pulse light that create a path through the air, via which bolts of electricity can travel toward a target.Applied Electronics used to exist in the form of the company called Ionatron, which was tasked with creating military-grade lightning weapons (above). The project and company failed -- hence the lack of lightning-based weaponry today -- so it'll be interesting to see if USP laser weapons are more successful. If so, they might be able to test the lasers on popcorn-filled houses.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.