The U.S. Army is developing a weapon that shoots lightning at the target, which is controlled by the laser.
The electrically conductive plasma channel (laser-induced plasma channel, LIPC) designed to engage targets that conduct electricity better than air or land that surround them.
This weapon has passed extensive testing in January.
George Fisher, who heads the project, said: "We never got tired of shooting lightning bolts on academic pursuits."
Details about this weapon have been published on the website of the U.S. Army.
Fisher explained as usual so unpredictable lightning discharges can be controlled.
"If the laser pulse to release high energy, but in an extremely short time, the power can be huge," - he said.
"During the time of the laser pulse can be produced more energy than it consumes a large city, but it will last for a trillionth of a second."
Because of this, the air starts to "act like a lens."
Applies fifty billion watts of optical power. For comparison, normal bulb uses 100 watts of energy.
"If the intensity of the laser beam is large enough, then there is an electromagnetic field becomes so strong that it rips electrons from the air molecules, creating a plasma," - said Fisher.
"This plasma occurs along the entire length of the laser beam, so we can direct it on our own with the help of a moving mirror."