We just learned that plants are getting in on the bomb detection game, and now lasers are looking to join the club. Not just regular ol' lasers, either — "air lasers."
Chemical rockets operate on essentially the same technology that we've had since the 1930s, and it's dangerous, expensive, and very inefficient. It's high time for a better way of getting to space, and lasers might be the way to do it.
The Soviet 1K17 laser tank looks like something out of Command and Conquer, but it was armed and operational during the early 90s, and it had US Intelligence totally freaked out.
What happens when you dress up a pretty woman in pretty lights and pretty lasers? Well, let's just say that for some reason I've now got it in my head that a Borg dance party would be really hot. Is that wrong? Guys? Guys?
Well, darn it all. Things were looking like they were on track for the Airborne Laser Test Bed (or ALTB), a Boeing 747 equipped with a high-power laser designed to shoot down missiles. Now, after two failed tests by the ALTB, are our high-flying, laser-filled dreams coming to an end?
Laser weapons are slowly becoming a reality, if not a practical one. Long the provenance of sci-fi movies, a laser weapon almost seems an inevitable part of a future military, but current power and size limits have kept them in the lab for the most part. But Lockheed Martin may have figured out a way to solve many of lasers' issues with an inverted prism.
Over at the National Ignition Facility in California is the world's most powerful laser, and its tasked with bringing about the dream of pollution-free, clean fusion energy (well, when it's not busy doing military-related things). It just completed its first firing test at near full energy.
The National Ignition Facility is an amazing place in Livermore, California. It houses the world's larges and highest-energy laser in the world, all with the goal of "creating a miniature star on Earth." Why would they want to do that? Two words: free energy.
Last night was "International Observe the Moon Night," apparently, and NASA celebrated by shooting our favorite satellite with lasers. Naturally!
Tractor beams, the sort of thing that large spaceships use to pull in smaller spaceships in sci-fi movies, are no longer in the realm of fantasy. Yes, researchers at the Australian National University have created a device that can move small particles multiple feet using only light. Wow.