Weapons experts at the Pentagon are in the process of perfecting a non-lethal weapon that creates human-like sounds.

The weapon is being developed by the US military’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Program. The weapon will work by manipulating the air with lasers, and in so doing, alter atoms to create words out of thin air, according to Defenceone.

It’s called the Laser-Induced Plasma Effect, and scientists are optimistic about the weapon producing intelligible words within the next three years.

The weapon will be used to de-escalate violence, as well as prevent people from charging check points.

It works by first getting a femtosecond laser to shoot a burst of focused light. Electrons are taken from the air molecules, and a ball of plasma is created.

Scientists then hit the ball of plasma with another nanolaser that they use to manipulate the plasma field.

David Law, who runs the technological division at JNLWD said:

We’re this close to getting it to speak to us. I need three or four more kilohertz.

H/T Defenceone

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