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Lasers

  1. Science

    Maybe Lasers Could Be Used to Deflect Lightning From Buildings

    Buildings getting struck by lightning accounts for more than $1 billion worth of damage in the U.S. every year. While there are ways to mitigate the amount of damage caused by directing the lightning away and into the ground, all those methods are just so... boring. You know what aren't boring? High intensity lasers. Heeeeell yeah!

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  2. Tech

    The Stock Market: Now With 100% More Lasers, Strictly for Communication, of Course

    If you needed any more evidence that the pace of the stock exchange is blinding, traders on the cutting edge of technology are now making use of military communications lasers to transmit data, because fiber optics and microwaves are just too darn slow. Just nobody tell them light is faster in a vacuum, OK? I like having air to breathe.

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  3. Tech

    Lasers Project Nelson Mandela’s Face on a Mountain in Tribute

    Lasers will project the image of the late Nelson Mandela onto the side of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa every night until December 16th as a memorial for the country's former president. The mountain was reportedly an iconic image for Mandela while he was in prison.

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  4. Science

    We May Have Found A Way to Turn Off Hunger, And It Involves Lasers

    If you're interested in losing weight, and aren't afraid of having your brain controlled by a laser beam through your eyeballs, then science has the perfect solution for you! In a recent study (using mice only, at this point), scientists think they've discovered the part of the brain that allows for overeating - and how to turn it off.

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  5. Science

    James Bond Predicted the Future: Diamond Lasers Are Totally A Thing Now

    Obviously the first thing that everybody thinks when looking at something priceless and sparkly is, "I bet I could make a laser out of this." And if you're some weirdo who's never seen Diamonds Are Forever and don't think you could actually do it, then there's no need to worry: a team at the University of Strathclyde has done it for you.

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  6. Science

    Five-Dimensional Data Crystals Exist, Can Store Information for “Practically” Forever

    We see science fiction becoming reality all the time, but of all the sci-fi conceits around, societies that store all their information (and giant holograms of Marlon Brando) in glowing "data crystals" seemed to be especially kitschy and out there. Not anymore, as scientists at the UK's University of Southampton have successfully demonstrated the ability to record and retrieve optical data on glass using five-dimensional laser techniques, calling their project the 'Superman' memory crystal. What's more, this technology stands to provide a way for us to store data in massive quantities for a "practically unlimited lifetime."

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  7. Tech

    You Had Us At Laser Gatling Gun [Video]

    It's official -- German laser aficionado Patrick Priebe has all the best toys. We've brought you looks at Priebe's work before, including a working replica of the Dead Space plasma cutter, but his newest project really takes the cake, because seriously, all I've ever wanted out of life is a gatling gun that shoots high-energy lasers. Which means all I have to do to make my life complete is go and steal Priebe's.

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  8. Tech

    Let’s Go Ahead And Add “Makes Lasers” To Graphene’s Already Impressive Resume

    We get it, graphene -- you're amazing. We've more or less accepted that there's nothing graphene can't do, but that doesn't stop us from being amazed every time it does something new. It's newest feat is that the super-material can be used to create ultrashort-pulse lasers. Damn, graphene. Save some cool stuff for the other materials to do.

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  9. Tech

    This Replica of the Dead Space Plasma Cutter Will Burn Its Way Into Your Heart, Or Nightmares

    Replicas of video game weapons are fun, but you can only get so much enjoyment out of waving a toy laser around and shouting, "Pew! Pew!" Sometimes you want to step your game up, and that's exactly what Patrick Priebe has done. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that show Dead Space Plasma Cutter replicas, but Priebe's actually fires lasers -- and it burns stuff.

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  10. Tech

    Navy Ships Getting Laser Weapons In 2014 [Video]

    After years and billions of dollars spent in development, the Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS) has been deemed ready for primetime, meaning the directed-energy weapons will start making appearances on the decks of U.S. military ships beginning next year. The solid-state laser, which will make stage its coming out on the USS Ponce, is still in it prototype stage, and isn't yet capable of eliminating a missile or enemy jet, but Navy officials are confident that it could disable other ships, and as for drones...well, you can see it blasting one out of the air during a test in the video below.

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  11. Science

    Green Laser Pointers: With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility

    What's a good tool that can lead presentations, point out constellations, and occupy cats with perfect precision? Laser pointers, of course! And while they can be really useful, lately it seems like they're not being used right. They're getting used to annoy moviegoers in theaters or get kids prison time. Unwise, folks. Now a new study shows that laser pointers -- especially the green ones -- are even more dangerous than we often assume.

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  12. Science

    New Treatment Could Blast Cocaine Addiction Out of the Brain With Lasers

    Cocaine addiction is notoriously difficult to treat, but researchers working on ways to fight it may have a unexpected new weapon in their arsenal -- lasers. Recent research in the field of optogenetics suggests that using lasers to turn certain parts of the brain on and off could help to curb addicts craving for the drug. Take that, cocaine addiction! Pew pew pew!

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  13. Weird

    19-Year-Old Scores 30-Month Prison Sentence for Shining Laser at Aircraft

    You might think we live in a world where people would realize that pointing lasers at aircraft is a bad idea. You might think that, but you're wrong if you do. On March 29th, 2012, 19-year-old Adam Gardenhire was arrested for exactly this -- pointing a green laser at a bunch of aircraft. He won't be doing it for some time, though, since he's earned himself 30 months in jail.

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  14. Science

    Digital Holographs Let Firefighters See Through Smoke And Flame

    When firefighters rush into a burning building, they're equipped to deal with extreme temperatures. They're not as equipped to locate the people they're there to save through the smoke and fire. Researchers of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Italy are working on a new way to see through the chaos of a fire using holographic imaging. It's officially the future.

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  15. Space

    Researchers Propose Giant Space Laser for Fending Off Future Asteroids

    Frightened of rocks from outer space falling on your head today? You can be forgiven for that, as it's a going concern this afternoon. Researchers at the University of California -- Santa Barbara and California Polytechnic State University are proposing a way to put your troubled mind at ease, though. They want to launch an array of solar-powered lasers into orbit that they say could not only deflect or vaporize incoming asteroids, but also be put to uses like powering future spacecraft as they explore the solar system.

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