If laser weapons and tools ever become mainstream, it might be because of a quiet little company called TeraDiode.
Sure, there are lots of more imminent (and perhaps more practical) applications for the Littleton, MA-based laser firm—welding, cutting metal, illuminating targets, and so forth—but blowing stuff up is what a laser was meant to do. At least if you grew up watching Star Trek phaser battles, Star Wars dogfights, and other forms of popular but admittedly dorky sci-fi entertainment.
Dorky? Fuck you writer scum!