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The Pentagon Wants to Test a Space-Based “Particle Beam” by 2023

The U.S. Department of Defense wants to test a directed energy weapon in space, one that it hopes will someday destroy ballistic missiles moments after launch. The weapon, a so-called neutral particle beam, would be boosted into space and tested from orbit in 2023. Neutral particle beams don’t get as much attention as lasers but

How Things Break (and Why Scientists Want to Know)

Breaking things can help scientists answer both the most elemental and the most everyday questions. Humans spend a lot of time creating things—this drives a huge amount of our lives, economically and personally—and we are always in a fight to keep them from breaking down. Houses, roads, cars. Power lines and bridges. Solar cells and