Electronics: Death to Death Rays

The problems and powerful potential of the split atom already seem old hat; laser is now the word for the future in half the world's laboratories. The almost magical optical-electronic devices are said to be sparkling with more possibilities than scientists can begin to count. But Austrian Physicist Hans Thirring gets particularly exasperated when loose talk conjures up images of long-distance death rays capable of killing incoming missiles, or of laser light broiling earth-side cities from bases on the moon.

Familiar pictures of lasers burning holes in diamonds (TIME, April 20, 1962) are no proof at all of death ray...

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