I’m lifting the video from Noah Shachtman so I’ll make you click for details. Trust me, it’s worth it. What you’re looking at here is an “FEL laser” (like I say, follow the link) firing at 10,000 watts into a plexiglass brick. The one the military’s working on will fire at ten times that charge. Noah imagines it as useful on destroyers for shooting down incoming cruise missiles but I’m guessing the ultimate application is for targeting ICBMs — the Arrow system on steroids, in other words, which makes the fact that Israel isn’t involved in this or even ahead of the game in its development surprising.
The one disappointing part? It’s not green.
Update: In the interests of completeness, let it be noted that the laser cannon is only the second most awesome scientific news of the day.