Science: The Laser Whammy

Evil Eye Fleegle, a creation of Cartoonist Al Capp, can deliver a "whammy," or dirty look, so powerful that it can melt steel and shrivel flesh. Neither U.S. nor Soviet researchers can duplicate Fleegle's feat. But both sides have long been working on weapons that may do the same thing. Jane's Yearbooks, London publisher of the authoritative guides to weapons systems, and the influential U.S. publication Aviation Week & Space Technology report that American and Russian scientists are stepping up efforts to develop weapons that until recently existed only in science fiction. They all depend on the laser, a device capable...

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