chemical laser


: a laser that uses a chemical reaction (such as combustion) as an energy source
The weapon is the chemical laser, which gets its energy from the combustion of fuels similar to those in rocket engines. Though much of its energy is lost as heat, significant amounts can be extracted by mirrors and resonant chambers, emerging as a concentrated beam of light that in theory can flash across space to zap speeding missiles thousands of miles away.William J. Broad

Examples of chemical laser in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The plane locked in its tracking lasers, and then unleashed a chemical laser that burned a hole in the side of the missile to blow it up. Andrew Moseman, Discover Magazine, 16 Feb. 2010 Rather than a chemical laser, PASS used a solid-state, electrically powered laser. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, 23 May 2022 The technology has now shifted from the chemical laser, which required corrosive and toxic chemicals to induce a beam and machinery almost the size of an on-site laboratory, to the solid-state laser, which needs only copious amounts of electricity. New York Times, 3 June 2022 This was previously explored in the Pulsed Energy Projectile, a US Army project involving a chemical laser in the early 2000s which vaporised outer clothing to produce a stunning but non-harmful flash-bang effect. David Hambling, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 Jack's area of expertise was inventing and developing chemical lasers., 8 Sep. 2019 In the 2000s, the Pentagon dumped billions into a 747 modified to fire a chemical laser. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 17 Jan. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chemical laser.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1965, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of chemical laser was in 1965

Dictionary Entries Near chemical laser

Cite this Entry

“Chemical laser.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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