graser n.

a device that produces a beam of gamma radiation, usually as an energy weapon n.

[< gamma ray amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, after laser]


  • 1964 W. Cloud Science Newsfront in Popular Science Feb. 29/1

    Graser research might bring forth the ‘death ray’ that the laser falls short of, since gamma rays are dangerous to living tissue.

  • 1974 H. Ellison Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54' N, Longitude 77° 00' 13" W in Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction Oct. 59/1 Harlan Ellison

    Victor let Talbot study them for a long moment, then said, ‘Not lasers. Grasers. Gamma Ray Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.’

  • [1990 R. M. Allen Ring of Charon iii. 49 page image Roger MacBride Allen bibliography

    Webling had been working for some time on developing a focused beam of gravity waves—a ‘graser.’ Like light, gravity was usually radiated in all directions from its source. But, like light, it could be manipulated, focused down into a one-dimensional beam.]

  • 1999 D. Weber On Basilisk Station 21 David Weber

    ‘How much broadside armament did it cost us?’ she asked after a moment. ‘All four graser mounts,’ McKeon replied, and watched her shoulders tighten slightly.

  • 2000 A. Reynolds Revelation Space 547 Alastair Reynolds bibliography

    The first graser burst had hit the nose of the shuttle thirty seconds after the tactical attack siren had begun to shriek; barely enough time to throw off a cloud of ablative chaff, designed to dissipate the intital energies of the incoming gamma-ray photons.

  • 2002 A. Reynolds Redemption Ark xxv. 369 Alastair Reynolds bibliography

    The yields were about one hundredth of a crustbuster burst, which was sufficient to power a particle beam or graser with a five-light-second kill range.

  • 2004 W. McCarthy Lost in Transmission xxiii. 302

    We can repel your grasers and nasen beams.

  • 2004 C. Stross Singularity Sky 129 Charles Stross

    The ship sensed some of her underlying mood: a target selection cursor ghosted briefly across the enemy glyphs, locking grasers onto the distant projected light cones of the enemy flotilla.

  • 2006 V. Vinge Rainbow’s End xv. 168 Vernor Vinge

    NIR lasers are not for them. They want xlaser and graser gear, trillions of colors per path, and trillions of paths.

  • 2006 N. Asher Polity Agent ix. 200 Neal Asher bibliography

    Massive weapons turrets protruded from it out into space: housing racks of missiles as large as attack ships; thinking bombs whose prime purpose had been to fight their way to exotic-metal hulls and detonate; particle-beam cannons gaping like cavern throats; rail-guns that could fill nearby space with swarms of ceramal projectiles travelling at near-c; lasers, grasers, masers.

Research requirements

any evidence 1964

Earliest cite

Wallace Cloud, "Science Newsfront"

Research History
Brian Denehy submitted a cite from a 1999 reprint of David Weber's "On Basilisk Station".
Michael Dolbear submitted a 2004 cite from a reprint of Charles Stross's "Singularity Sky".
Michael Dolbear submitted a 2002 cite from a reprint of Alastair Reynolds's "Revelation Space".
Michael Dolbear located, and Malcolm Farmer verified, a 1974 cite from Harlan Ellison's "Adrift Just Off the Islets of Langerhans: Latitude 38° 54' N, Longitude 77° 00' 13" W".
Douglas Winston submitted a 2004 cite from Wil McCarthy's "Lost in Transmission".
Adam Buchbinder submitted a February 1964 cite from the "Science Newsfront" column in "Popular Science".
Ben Ostrowsky submitted a 1990 cite from Roger MacBride Allen, in reference to focused beams of gravity waves rather than gamma rays; we would like any further examples of this sense.

Last modified 2021-12-15 13:15:21
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.