Let There Be Light: Laser Weapons, Jammers, and 21st Century Ethical Implications

Let There Be Light: Laser Weapons, Jammers, and 21st Century Ethical Implications

Humans shape inventions, but they in turn shape us. Depending on your religious or secular perspective, religious texts like the Torah reflect the world in some ways and provide a blueprint for the world in others. This tension persists from these sacred texts all the way to our most impressive, and terrifying, inventions. Weaponry such as the missile, created in the interest of defense, could arguably be seen as one of humanity’s worst creations, born out of pure necessity. But what if these technologies, and all the smaller components and principles of light and physics that have come together to create them, have something to say back to us?

Dr. Zachary Epstein received his PhD in laser physics from the University of Maryland three years ago, and is now Senior Staff Scientist at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he is a senior professional staff who works with lasers in the military context on a daily basis.

(This post is part of Sinai and Synapses’ project Scientists in Synagogues, a grass-roots program to offer Jews opportunities to explore the most interesting and pressing questions surrounding Judaism and science. This “Let There Be Light: Laser Weapons, Jammers, and 21st Century Ethical Implications” was part of Temple Isaiah’s Scientists in Synagogues series, “New Wars, Old Questions: Military Technology and Jewish Teachings in the 21st Century.”)

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