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Sunday, July 3 • 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lasers to Rayguns - Fictional Weapons in Pop Culture

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The introduction of rayguns and beam weapons into fiction stemmed from more than the imagination of science fiction authors. Rapid technological improvements during WWII convinced the U.S. military both of the possibility and necessity for better weaponry, so when they heard that domestic scientists were on the verge of creating invisible super weapons, they were keen to fund research into building lasers. The early reality of lasers turned out much differently than anticipated, but beam weapons lived on exuberantly in fiction and toys. This panel tracks that evolution of imaginary beam weapons through 20th-century media, and briefly discusses the plausibility of creating beam weapons in today’s world.

Sunday July 3, 2016 12:00pm - 1:00pm PDT
3 Sisters