Physicist aims to publish a science fiction novel to raise $2 million for new laser weaponsS

A physicist is asking for help publishing his wild new science fiction book series — and possibly also creating a new superweapon that would change the face of war forever. Australian-born physicist Adam Weigold is trying to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter to pay for editing and marketing for his novel Dragon Empire, which is about how laser-powered EMPs turn the tide in a war against China.

And then in November, Weigold hopes to publish Dragon Empire, as part of a plan to raise $2 million to make his fictional weapons happen in real life. According to Weigold, his novel shows how laser-guided EMP weapons could "nullify the effect of guided missile technology" — and in turn, change all of warfare, "especially strategy and tactics."

Over at Tech News Daily, there's an article explaining how these weapons would work:

High-energy lasers can create an ionized ball of plasma by ripping electrons from molecules in the air — enough to generate a small EMP pulse that could knock out the electronic sensors and guidance systems of missiles. That means an F-35 fighter jet armed with a kilowatt-class laser could theoretically become invincible against a swarm of missiles.

But earlier experiments faltered because the lasers could not focus accurately over greater distances to ensure an EMP knockout blow. Differences in air pressure, clouds and smoky conditions can throw the laser targeting off by 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) over a firing distance of 0.6 miles (1 kilometer), whereas the laser-powered EMP can only hit targets about 7 to 16 feet (2 to 5 meters) within range of the laser's focal point.

"Our patent-pending technology not only dramatically improves the focal accuracy of the laser plasma but helps to focus the EMP energy produced directly at the target," Weigold told TechNewsDaily.

Weigold doesn't have to raise the whole $2 million himself — if he can raise between $300,000 and $500,000, he can apply for funding from the Department of Defense, under the Small Business Innovation Research Program. More details at the link. [TechNewsDaily]