• Mapping the Mayans with high-powered lasers

    You tend to think of archaeologists as academic types, dusting off pottery shards and bones, and a comfy tent in the desert. Generally speaking, you don’t think of them buzzing Mayan ruins and bombarding the jungle with lasers.Yet that’s just what Arlen and Diane Chase are doing in Belize. They’re using LIDAR to scan below the trees, which form an effective screen against… Read More

  • Laser-powered rain: sounds too awesome to be true

    Here in Seattle (welcome!) we have no problem getting enough rain. Lasers are not necessary. But this international project studying the effect of high-power lasers on mistifying the atmosphere could still help a lot of areas where rainclouds are shy. The effect, which has no cool name yet, comes from the fact that high-energy beams like terawatt lasers and cosmic rays will knock electrons… Read More

  • DIY: the laser jacket

    So somehow, you’ve ended up with 200 laser pointers. What on earth do you do with 200 laser diodes? Well, you could combine them all into one super laser and write your name on the moon. Or you could find 200 sharks and.. never mind. Or, you could wire them all together into a jacket, and wear it to the mall. That’s it! Read More

  • Laser beam clock tells time with mirrors

    Those wacky artists at Art Lebedev are at it again. This time, they’ve created a concept clock that uses a single laser beam directed by 60 rotating mirrors to tell us what time it is. Read More

  • Concept watch tells time with frikkin' lasers

    One look at what this watch does will tell you that it’s just a concept, and will most likely never see the light of day (no pun intended). The Aurora Watch was designed by Jihun Yeom, and features a hollow face that makes it look like you lost part of your wristwatch, until you push a button and two lasers come out of the bezel to show you the time. Read More

  • Next Mars rover to have frikkin' lasers

    Apparently NASA saw something when they sent up the last Mars rover, because the next one is going to be packing heat. The next rover, named Curiosity, is scheduled to launch next year and will be equipped with an analysis system that uses high-energy laser pulses to help find out what Mars is made of. Read More

  • So, so awesome: tactical laser takes down ballistic missile (video)

    Do you see what I’m seeing? That big ol’ column in the first shot is a LASER. A huge, sustained, sci-fi style laser. It’s blasting a missile in midair during a test. And that second shot? Talk about C-beams off the shoulder of Orion. Read More

  • New system used to protect airplanes from lasers, soon to work against sharks with freakin' lasers, too

    So the Federal Aviation Administration doesn’t like guys like you and me shining lasers into the sky at airplanes. But what about real scientists looking to use lasers for real scientific research? The current rules require, essentially, a spotter to look for aircraft within twenty five degrees of the laser. Obviously, this is extremely prone to human error. This sounds like a job… Read More

  • Star Wars Lightsaber laser pointers make for an easy purchasing decision

    As laser pointers go, you could do far worse than this little keychain Lightsaber. I mean think about it; if your job requires you to use a laser pointer, then you might as well have a cool one. And at $15, it’s not like this is a huge monetary investment. As an investment in your social standing amongst your peers, though, this thing ought to pay off in spades. Read More

  • Just what the Airzooka needed — a laser scope

    Some of you may recall the Airzooka — a large cannon-like apparatus that, thanks to the magic of physics, somehow shoots a ball of air at unsuspecting office mates. Well apparently shooting a ball of air is now much more fun and accurate with the addition of a laser scope. Read More

  • It's… a functioning beam katana

    Similar to a light saber but more Nintendo-y, this DIY beam katana seems to be an actual working device, although I question its lethality. The creator won’t reveal his secrets, but I think it’s pretty clear there’s some kind of little smoke generator and one of those green high-powered lasers involved. Get a couple more high-powered ones or a mirror setup in there and you… Read More

  • Laser guns becoming a reality

    Well, we’re getting closer to having laser weaponry. Northrop Grumman announced recently that they were able to get a laser to fire at 105.5 kilowatts for a sustained amount of time, suggesting that a vehicle mounted or stationary weapon can’t be far behind. Read More

  • Video Review: Spyder II GX laser

    There are lasers and then there are lasers. The Spyder II GX is a crazy 200-300mW green laser that can burn through paper, balloons, and skin and generally blind you if you’re not careful. How much does all this fun cost? $1,699 including a pair of absolutely essential shades that will keep you from blinding yourself. Read More

  • Avenger Laser weapon knocks UAV out of the air

    Gosh, these lasers grow up so darn quick! It seems just yesterday that the Avenger’s predecessor, the Advanced Tactical Laser, was being tested on those cute little Hercules transports. And then all that fussing about the Free Electron Laser! You just wanna hug ’em! Am I right? Read More

  • Think a Gamma Knife sounds cool? How about a Photonic Needle

    Researchers at St. Andrews University in Scotland have created a new technique for delivering drugs to individual cells which is essentially an incredibly precise laser fired from a fiber the width of a human hair. Despite this rather inflammatory article at the Daily Mail saying it will be used to cure cancer, the real applications are very specific and very practical — as is often… Read More

  • Sanyo blue laser diode could double Blu-ray capacity

    A new blue laser diode, developed by Sanyo, could help increase the capacity of Blu-ray discs. Even if it does, however, we’re still a few years away from seeing any such discs. The new diode emits a beam of 450 milliwatts, which would be powerful enough to write onto two additional data layers on a Blu-ray disc. While current Blu-ray discs max out at two, 25GB layers, discs produced… Read More

  • Review: WickedLasers Elite series lasers plus a giveaway

    Giving a man of any age a powerful laser is like giving a bear an AK-47: it’s in his very nature to point it at things and look menacing. Thankfully, the bear is rarely able to do any damage – no trigger finger – but the man, be he 16 or 65 or 33, will definitely aim it at something that will inevitably reflect the laser back into his own eyes, rendering him temporarily blind… Read More

  • Laser pointers finally do something useful

    It’s about time. The storied laser pointer has, let’s admit it, gotten pretty boring over the years. People have returned to a simpler time of retro pointing, using old yardsticks and their trusty, dusty fingers, and the last time anyone laughed at the laser-pointer-on-someone’s-face gag, the elder Bush was in office. So a big thank you is in order to Alpay Kasal for inventing… Read More

  • The laser turns 48 years young today

    Let freedom ring The laser turns 48 today! (Just as important, if not more so: It’s also Megan Fox’s birthday. She turns 22.) Crazy! To celebrate this, Wired has put together a list of some of its best laser-related stories, everything from laser-etched iPhones to 100 kW Naval weapons. No, it’s nothing to get too excited over, but perhaps you have nothing better to do on… Read More

  • World's most powerful laser developed in Texas

    Straight out of the University of Texas at Austin comes the world’s most powerful laser. I just assumed that most lasers were very powerful, but apparently the great state of Texas has the best one until someone else can come along and build an even more powerful laser or mounts this same laser to a shark’s head. Read More