Articles about lasers

Boffins turn timid mice into psycho killers – by firing lasers into brains

Video Scientists have turned wimpy mice into ferocious hunters by zapping their brains with a laser. Using optogenetics, a technique that makes specific neurons fire when stimulated with light, the scientists activated a set of neurons in the amygdala. The amygdala, a small region within the brain, is associated with memory, …
Katyanna Quach, 13 Jan 2017
European laser rat fence pilot

LASER RAT FENCE wins €1.7m European Commission funds

The European Commission (EC) has found €1,777,985 for research on rat-repelling laser fences. The thinking behind the “LIFE Laser Fence” is that birds and rodents chew on plenty of crops, which costs farmers money and reduce productivity. Plenty of farmers fight back using poisons which do the job, but can also prove fatal for …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Oct 2016
Facebook laser receptor

Raving mad: Glow sticks are secret weapon in Facebook's 2.1Gbps laser internet drones

At Facebook's F8 Developer Conference this year, Mark Zuckerberg revealed more details about his laser-firing drones that will encircle the world and relay Facebook, sorry, the internet to far-flung places, reaching potentially all seven billion of us. The first solar-powered Aquila autonomous drones to do that job have now …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016

Boffins could tune telescopes to listen to lasers on Mars

Months after its July fly-by, New Horizons is still squeezing its images down pipe measured in bits-per-second – and that's a problem space boffins would like to solve in the future. As we know from NASA's successful LADEE test, lasers are a viable and truly broadband space comms medium – but firing a laser from (say) Mars and …
Renderings always look great

LASER RAZOR blunted by KickStarter ban

KickStarter has suspended funding for the Skarp Laser Razor, a crowdfunded effort to replace conventional razors with a laser-powered shaving implement. Reg readers have shared a KickStarter communique in which the crowdfunding platform says “we’ve concluded that it is in violation of our rule requiring working prototypes of …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Oct 2015
A truck disabled by Lockheed Martin's ATHENA laser

In assault on American values, Lockheed BLASTS PICKUP with RAYGUN

Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a new laser cannon prototype by using the weapon to punch through the engine block of a small truck from a mile away. The device, dubbed ATHENA (Advanced Test High Energy Asset), was – according to reports – able to burn through the vehicle's engine manifold "in a matter of seconds," disabling …
GhostSwimmer

Don't panic, US Navy has only deployed a ROBOT SHARK (but where are the lasers?)

Pics and video The US Navy has shown off the first images of its latest aqua-drone: a five-foot-long robot shark that's been swimming off the shores of Virginia. The Navy's robot shark at rest GhostSwimmer at rest Dubbed GhostSwimmer, the 100lb machine (in Navy-speak, an AUV or autonomous underwater vehicle) is capable of swimming in …
Iain Thomson, 18 Dec 2014
The Alphasat laser communications payload

ESA and Airbus test LASER data networks IN SPAAACE

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space say they have successfully sent data between satellites, using lasers, in a proof-of-concept demonstration of what both call the “SpaceDataHighway”. A canned statement from Airbus Defence and Space says two satellites - Sentinel-1A and Alphasat – were connected over …
EOS Facility at Mt Stromolo

EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz

EOS Space Systems and Lockheed have struck a deal to jointly develop a space junk tracking centre in Western Australia. Having a second tracking centre (in addition to its existing facility at Mount Stromlo in the ACT) will significantly improve EOS Space Systems' coverage, the company says, since its activities won't be …

FRIKKIN' LASERS could REPLACE fibre-optic comms cables

You may think that a waveguide is something issued to junior members of the royal family ahead of their first pomp parade through London. But it's actually a new communications technique that makes the air behave like a fibre-optic cable. Howard Milchberg, professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at the …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jul 2014
Drosophilia under a laser

Linux app lets you control fruit fly brains - with frikkin' LASERS

Video I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords … a collaboration between researchers in Vienna and the US has produced high-resolution laser-control over fruit flies. If you have access to the necessary kit (cameras and a galvanometer) to track the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster in their experiment), plus a 635nm and a 808nm …
Shimzu plan for Lunar power

Solar enthusiasts rays idea of 'leccy farms on MOON, drones

Ever since the Golden Age era of science fiction, space-based power stations have been an object of desire for lovers of the future – but they haven't eventuated, so a Yorkshire-based outfit wants to try droning its solar panels at the more manageable 15,000 metres altitude. The idea, says the trio running the project (and …
Toshiba 7mm hybrid disk drive slider

Magnets too slow for disk writes? Use lasers

A group of Swiss researchers has demonstrated using lasers to control magnetisation at extremely high speed, a line of research they hope will one day will help speed up hard drives. One of the limits of the modern hard drives' performance is how quickly a bit's magnetisation can be accurately changed using a magnetic write …
NASA's LLCD laser comms experiment

Lasers to carry 622 Mbps Earth-Moon link

If all goes to plan, the next few weeks will bring a revolution in communication with spacecraft, with two space-based laser communications demonstrations due to take to the skies. The European Space Agency's Alphasat – also the largest telecommunications satellite built in Europe – is due to launch on July 25. While the …

Planet-busting British space bullet ready to bomb ice moon Europa

A successful speed-of-sound shot has powdered ten tonnes of ice, but much to the builders' delight the projectile used managed to retain its components and internal structure in spite of the massive g-forces involved in the test. Reported over at the BBC, the test is part of a “space penetrator” project, offered as a lower- …

Boffins light way to photonic computing with 1PB DVD tech

Successive generations of optical media generally rely on a new laser and a medium capable of responding to the new laser's qualities. And so it is with a new piece of research, titled Three-dimensional deep sub-diffraction optical beam lithography with 9nm feature size [PDF], revealed today that it may one day be possible to …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

US Navy blasts drones with ship-mounted LASER CANNON

The US Navy says it has successfully test-fired a ship-mounted laser weapon, and that it plans to deploy the device to an actual maritime staging area beginning in 2014. On Monday, the Navy released video and still images showing the somewhat-unimaginatively named Laser Weapon System (LaWS) firing on an unmanned drone, causing …
Four patterns available from the laser: single point, line, cross and dots

Lasers capture 3D images from a kilometre away

It sounds like a privacy advocate's worst nightmare: fire an infrared laser, scan the object, get its time-of-flight, and you can create a 3D imaging system that works at up to a kilometre distance. It's not a completely new idea, of course. It is, in fact, quite close to how we use airborne LIDAR to get high-resolution …

Create a news alert about lasers, or find more stories about lasers.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017