The US Navy has contracted Boeing to work on a Free Electron Laser, which would provide ships with an ultra-precise weapon capable of striking targets with lethal force, causing minimal nearby damage.
Gizmag says Free Electron Lasers move at the speed of light and are capable of outputting a megawatt of power, which the military requires for adequate defense. FELs differ from gas or solid state lasers because they're not atomically bound. Instead the electrons are contained in a magnetic-based structure that lets the particles move freely. The FEL will be part of the foundation for the Navy's plan to develop an all-electric ship, which would be as capable as current Naval ships. [Gizmag] (Image Courtesy of the NYT)