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New weapons and how they may change war subject of talk Thursday at Museum

By Steve Sandoval

October 18, 2005

Light-wave energy in the same spectrum of energy found in home appliances may soon be used in a new generation of weapons. On Thursday, the Laboratory’s Associate Director for Threat Reduction, Douglas Beason, will talk about America’s new directed energy weapons in a talk at the Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum.

The talk is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., and is free and open to the public. After the talk, Beason is scheduled to sign copies of his new book, “The E-Bomb: How America’s New Directed Energy Weapons will Change the Way Future Wars will be Fought,” at the Otowi Station Bookstore next to the museum.

Beason, who was named Los Alamos’ Threat Reduction Directorate (ADTR) leader in January, is a leading expert in directed energy research. At the talk, he will describe the development of a new generation of weapons that discharge light-wave energy. The technology that supplies the same spectrum of energy found in microwave ovens or television remote control devices is a revolution in weaponry, perhaps more profound than the atomic bomb. Beason will discuss these new weapons and answer the questions that everyone is asking: What is directed energy? How do these new weapons work? How lethal are they?

According to Beason, the first directed energy weapons are being tested now and their deployment is being planned for today's battlefields.

Beason is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics. He also has master’s and doctoral degrees in physics from the University of New Mexico and a master’s degree in national resource strategy from National Defense University. Prior to joining Los Alamos, he worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, taught physics and was deputy director for directed energy at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque.

Beason also served in the White House as a member of the staff of the President’s Science Adviser for former Presidents Bush and Clinton. He retired from the U.S. Air Force as a colonel after 24 years of service. Beason is the author of 13 books.

Los Alamos’ Threat Reduction Directorate is responsible for 1,200 employees conducting intelligence, space science and technology, remote sensing, directed energy, nuclear nonproliferation, nuclear emergency response, infrastructure protection, biothreat analysis and bioscience programs.

The Bradbury Science Museum is located at 15th Street and Central Avenue in downtown Los Alamos. Museum hours apart from special events are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday and Monday.

The Bradbury Science Museum is part of Los Alamos’ Public Affairs Office.

For more information, contact Pat Berger at 5-0896.
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