A distinguished roster of American scientists contributed to [the American Physical Society report on directed-energy weapons]. The product of their endeavors was released to the public by the Council of the American Physical Society as an important contribution to the national debate over the best means of ensuring the survival of the American nation.

In my view, however, this report is not worthy of serious consideration in that vital debate. This may seem an unduly severe indictment of a document bearing the seal of approval of one of the nation's most distinguished scientific bodies. Yet I know of no other way to describe a nominally serious study replete with equations, which nonetheless contains numerous errors, inconsistencies and unrealistic assumptions on matters of great importance in the technological assessment of missile defenses.

The mistakes in the report are not small. They are major errors, by factors of as much as 100-fold....

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?