lasers

Tiny Lasers On Microchips Could Help Self-Driving Cars 'See' The Road

Since self-driving cars don’t have drivers, the cars have to perceive their surroundings themselves. Lidar is a great option — it’s like radar but with lasers instead of radio waves — but it’s big and pricy. However, a new kind of lidar from DARPA could change that.


This Is How Valve's Amazing Lighthouse Tracking Technology Works

Valve’s virtual reality demo at GDC was nothing short of magical — it used fancy emitter technology to let us actually walk around a demo room. It felt so real. Valve calls the tech Lighthouse, and it’s kind of genius.


Shooting A Laser At A Planet, But Not To Blow It Up

This breathtaking photo shows the intense orange beam of a new 22W laser pointed at the planet Saturn. Wait, isn’t this like the shocking scene in Star Wars where the Death Star’s superlaser completely annihilated planet Alderaan?


This Iron Man Glove Shoots Lasers And Metal Bolts

Everybody, it seems, is into making Iron Man replica-gloves these days. And why not, when they’re totally badass looking? Not every would-be Iron Man, however, can shoot lasers and metal bolts out of his hand.


Scientists Propose Putting A Laser On The ISS To Blast Space Junk 

Millions of pieces of space junk, big and small, are constantly circling the Earth. This intractable problem has inspired many a grandiose idea, but perhaps none as initially bizarre-sounding as a laser on the International Space Station, a real scheme recently proposed by Japanese scientists.


A Rare Look At The Laser Beam NASA Uses To Scan For Sea Ice

Most of the time, when man-made machines come face-to-face with vast fields of sea ice, it’s mankind who lose out (see: Titanic). But in this image from NASA’s Operation Ice Bridge, we get a rare look a humans imposing order on the planet’s unruly machinations.


3D Laser Scan Shows London's Abandoned Underground Mail Rail Network

Beneath the streets of London, an underground rail network once existed to shuttle mail around the city. Decommissioned in 2003, this 3D laser scan serves to save its existence for posterity.


This Is The World's Highest Peak-Power Laser Diode Array

Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created the world’s highest peak-power laser diode array, capable of creating up to 3.2 megawatts. The new device will be used in Europe’s new Extreme Light facility, which will be as badass as it sounds.


What Lockheed's New Laser Can Do

Briefly: Lockheed Martin recently tested its new Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) laser — not to be confused with the Navy’s laser — on the Ford F-150 pictured above. The weapons system hit the truck’s running engine from a mile away. The engine doesn’t run any more.


IMAX's New Laser Projectors Make Me Wish I Lived In A Movie Theatre

Surround sound and 4K TVs are great for watching movies at home, but there’s still nothing like sitting in front of a gigantic screen in an IMAX theatre. I recently got an exclusive first look at the company’s next-generation digital laser projectors, and I walked away from the experience wanting to see every single movie remastered and projected using the new technology.