Clemson engineers working to make 'Star Wars' laser weapons a re - FOX Carolina 21

Clemson engineers working to make 'Star Wars' laser weapons a reality

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Laser being studied by Clemson researchers (FOX Carolina/ May 30, 2017) Laser being studied by Clemson researchers (FOX Carolina/ May 30, 2017)
CLEMSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The laser cannons used in the epic space battles of the Star Wars films could now be coming to battlefields on earth, thanks to research from two Clemson University engineers.

The university said the Department of Defense has issued grants for more than $3 million to John Ballato and Lin Zhu, who are using different approaches to creating high-energy lasers that could be weaponized.

According to a news release from the university, Ballato's focus is on optical fibers that channel and creating an optical fire that will not diminish a laser’s power.

Meanwhile, Zhu is devising diodes that convert electricity to light and can generate a highly powerful light beam in only one direction.

The man hailed as the inventor of the laser was from Greenville.

Charles Townes, a Furman graduate, shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in physics for the invention of the laser. He died in 2015 at the age of 99.

PREVIOUSLY: Inventor of laser, Greenville native dies at 99

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