Electronics: Shooting Through Stone

The "bullets" it fires are so small and so light that they can be deflected by a single molecule of air. Even so, the new electron gun devised by Westinghouse Physicist Berthold Schumacher packs so much power that it can shoot its way through the world's hardest rock. It points the way for cheap and relatively simple tools for quarrying stone, mining minerals or even carving tunnels through mountains.

Schumacher obtains his electron projectiles by boiling them off a heated metal cathode. High-power electrical fields focus them into a narrow beam and...

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