Cops Catching Up with Star Wars

HSV Technologies Inc., a developer of weapons for the Police Force in the US, have released information on a new weapon to assist in suspect apprehension.
Scenes like that of the image may become everyday occurences in the streets of America, or maybe not...

HSV Technologies Inc., of San Diego, California is developing a non-lethal weapon that uses ultraviolet laser beams to harmlessly immobilize people and animals at a distance. The Phaser-like device uses two beams of UV radiation to ionize paths in the air along which electrical current is conducted to and from the target. In effect, the beams create wires through the atmosphere wherever they are pointed.

The current within these beams is a close replication of the neuro-electric impulses that control skeletal muscles. It is imperceptible to the target person because it differs from his own neural impulses only in that its repetition rate is sufficiently rapid to tetanize muscle tissue. (Tetanization is the stimulation of muscle fibers at a frequency which merges their individual contractions into a single sustained contraction.)

No retinal damage can occur because the cornea absorbs all ultraviolet radiation at the wavelengths used. Moreover, the beams are too weak to produce photokeratitis (corneal inflammation) unless they are directed at the eyes for several minutes. In addition, the current they transmit is insufficient to affect the muscles of the heart and diaphragm.

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