lasers stories

We're all familiar with lasers, those amplified beams of light that brighten our Motley Crue concerts, scan our groceries and help us not look like such nerds by removing the need for our big stupid glasses. Just kidding; we love big stupid glasses. You know what else is cool? Some all-new room-temperature masers.
In our dreams for the future, lasers are everywhere. They surround us, they bind us, and on occasion (hopefully without any searing pain), they penetrate us. Andrey Kokorin is working hard to extend this philosophy into the kitchen, with his concept for a sort of three-dimensional laser food processor thing called Blitz.
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In order to send a spacecraft to another star in an amount of time that would strike the average person as reasonable — like a generation — we're going to need new ways of propelling the aforementioned spacecraft that would strike the average person as nuts, like using solar-powered lasers to coax antimatter fuel out of the quantum vacuum of space.
There's absolutely no reason to do something peacefully and by hand when you could do it violently, with lasers, instead. Germany agrees, and scientists there are developing a system that replaces the task of pulling weeds with a system of plant-pulverizing semi-autonomous laser cannons.
Ionization is when an an atom loses or gains an electron. This happens to lots of atoms, but it happens so fast that nobody has ever caught ionization in the act. Now, scientists at the Vienna University of Technology have used an attosecond laser pulse to watch as a single electron packs its bags and takes off on its own.