Greetings, Guyverman here once again. Today, I will like to discuss particle-energy-based weapons (i.e lasers). For generations, they have been a staple of science-fiction, capturing our imagination in all forms of media, ranging from film, TV, literature, comic books and the list goes on. Realistically, how far off do you think such devices are from being commonplace, particularly in warfare?
While such technology exists, it is still very much in its infancy and requires massive loads of energy with very little available materials that can harness the amount needed. One such material that could increase the odds of it happening is graphene, with both its unrivaled conductivity and tensile strength. In order to generate an unlimited supply of energy used for projectiles, I would say that a portable fusion reactor would be needed. Either that or solar-power could be an efficient source.
The 1940's saw the advent of nuclear weapons following decades of trial and error, experimenting with the atom. Based on that, I would give such technology until at least the 2040's. Even when such weapons are available, I imagine that they'll be rarely used, like gunpowder in its early days.
In the first few centuries of gunpowder-based weaponry, it was refined only to large canons, gradually making its way into more portable forms (i.e muskets and rifles). Even for the longest time, portable firearms could only be used once in battle before needing a lengthy refill. By the 18th and 19th centuries, handheld pistols, of which could fire multiple rounds became ubiquitous.
It is most likely that particle energy weapons will go down the same evolutionary path over a similar timeframe. Anyways, what are your thoughts in the matter? Does my prediction sound feasible?