Over the years, the science-fiction genre has amassed an impressive arsenal. Waltz through its fictional armories, and you'll find armaments spun from every scientific breakthrough, crazy theory and "Popular Science" article that sci-fi authors could get their hands on.
From the phasers and red matter bombs of "Star Trek" to the lightsabers of "Star Wars," our books, movies and comics are loaded with a vast array of organic, nanotech, gravity and energy weapons. But how much science is there to all of this? And just what kind of sci-fi heat will the soldiers of the future really be packing?
In this article, we'll look at five far-out approaches to spreading destruction and mayhem among earthly residents. So check your crysknives, chainswords and Klingon bat'leths at the door and take a quick glance into the future.