lasers

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.


Reagan's Star Wars Missile Program Had Its Own Video Game

Remember US President Ronald Reagan’s plan for space weapons in the 1980s? Today, it’s little more than a punchline, but it used to be serious business. How serious? Video game serious. Yes, there really was an SDI video game, and thanks to the Internet Archive you can even play it.


This Laser Is Guided By Water

Sometimes, less is more — as in this turbine, which is having segments cut out with a laser for better cooling.


A Car Bumper Laser Helps Prevent Rear-End Collisions In Fog

It’s one of the most passive forms of weather on the planet, but fog accounts for countless pileups and accidents on roads and highways because drivers simply can’t see the cars in front of them. But this simple bumper-mounted laser promises to help remedy that by shining a bright red line on the road, 5m behind your vehicle, giving other drivers advance warning that you’re ahead of them.


Inventor Of The Laser Dies

Charles Townes, the physicist whose work would help lay the foundations for the development of the laser died today. He was 99. His career also ranged far beyond an interest in lasers, into astronomy and a fascination with spirituality.