Supersonic Laser-propelled Rockets may Enable Aircraft to Exceed Mach 10

October 31, 2014 8:20 PM

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WASHINGTON — Scientists and science fiction writers alike have dreamed of aircrafts that are propelled by beams of light rather than conventional fuels. Now, a new method for improving the thrust generated by such laser-propulsion systems may bring them one step closer to practical use.

The method, developed by physicists Yuri Rezunkov of the Institute of Optoelectronic Instrument Engineering, Russia and Alexander Schmidt of the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute in Saint Petersburg, Russia is described October 29, 2014, in The Optical Society’s (OSA) journal Applied Optics.

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