Articles about laser

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Science! Luminescent nanocrystals could lead to multi-PB optical discs

Australian researchers have managed to store information on light-emitting nanocrystals, and they reckon a cubic-centimetre chunk of the stuff could hold a petabyte of data. The base tech is described in "Towards rewritable multilevel optical data storage in single nanocrystals" in Optical Express. It hinges on the …
Chris Mellor, 6 Jul 2018

Shining lasers at planes in the UK could now get you up to 5 years in jail

The ban on shining lasers at cars and aeroplanes has been strengthened with a five-year prison sentence now available for those who train their laser pointers on ships, aircraft or air traffic control towers. "Under the new law, it is a crime to shine or direct a laser beam that dazzles or distracts, or is likely to dazzle or …
Gareth Corfield, 11 May 2018

Pentagon in uproar: 'China's lasers' make US pilots shake in Djibouti

The US military has formally complained to China after blinding lasers were fired at Uncle Sam's aircraft coming in to land at the American airbase in Djibouti. Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said two US military pilots suffered minor eye damage from lasers hitting the cockpit of their C-130 transport airplane landing at Camp …
Iain Thomson, 4 May 2018

Want to make a super-earth? Bring on the frikking lasers

A team of physicists have attempted to recreate the internal conditions of a ‘super-Earth’ planet in a lab, by shooting laser beams at iron samples. Super-Earths are a type of exoplanet. They have a higher mass than Earth, but are not as massive as Uranus and Neptune. The giants are about 15 and 17 times the mass of Earth. A …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Apr 2018
Super-villain Dr Evil puts finger to lip in scheming manner, asks for one million dollars. Pic: New Line Cinema

Planned European death ray may not need Brit boffinry brain-picking

The EU is planning to build a laser cannon with double the power of Britain's under-construction Dragonfire zapper, according to reports – but the general state of the tech doesn't automatically mean Europe will be trying to snaffle Brit raygun smarts. The Sun broke the news that the EU Commission wants to, er, commission a …
Gareth Corfield, 20 Apr 2018

US Navy gives Lockheed Martin $150m big frickin' laser cannon contract

Lockheed Martin, makers of the F-35 and various other bits of defence hardware, has been handed a $150m contract by the US Navy to build two bloody great laser cannons. The laser weapons will be delivered along with a long-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance "capability" and are specified to be capable of …

Atto, boy! Eggheads fire laser for 43 attoseconds, fastest Man-made spurt

Physicists have whittled down the world’s shortest laser pulse to just 43 attoseconds (4.3 x 10-17 seconds), fast enough to observe electrons moving during chemical reactions in slow motion for the first time. The blip “is the shortest controlled event that has ever been created by humans,” the boffins bragged. The …
Sharks with frikkin lasers.

Giant frikkin' British laser turret to start zapping stuff next year

The Dragonfire laser cannon consortium has unveiled a fullsize mockup of its shipborne blaster at the Defence and Security Exhibition International arms fair in London. The Dragonfire laser turret mockup at DSEI 2017. Pic: MBDA The £30m Dragonfire laser turret mockup at DSEI 2017 The £30m turret-mounted laser cannon is …
Gareth Corfield, 13 Sep 2017
Laser weapon aboard USS Ponce

Argentina eyes up laser death cannon testbed warship

Argentina reportedly wants to buy the US Navy’s laser death ray testbed warship, the fearsomely named USS Ponce. According to the Mail on Sunday, the Argentinians are interested in buying the 46-year-old former landing platform (dock) from the American Navy when she is decommissioned next year. “Senior Pentagon sources have …
Beam of light

Florida man is world's fastest flasher: Just 53 quintillionths of a sec

Physicists at the University of Central Florida have developed the world's fastest X‑ray pulse, at 53 attoseconds. Blink and you'll really, really miss it. At 53 quintillionths (53 x 10‑18) of a second, the flash is 15 orders of magnitude faster than the blink of an eye. The beam travels less than one-thousandth of the …

Boffins with frickin' laser beams chase universe's mysterious trihydrogen

Scientists are getting closer to piecing together the chemical reactions that form trihydrogen, one of the most abundant yet mysterious ions floating around in space. Trihydrogen, H3+, is an important molecule. It is believed that the tiny ion kickstarted a whole chain of reactions that led to the birth of the first stars in …

Talk about cutting-edge technology! Boffins fire world's sharpest laser

A team of physicists claims to have created the world's sharpest laser, with a line width frequency of only 10 millihertz – opening up the possibility of improving the accuracy of optical clocks and radioastronomy experiments. Lasers are, ideally, a concentrated stream of photons at a single frequency. But in reality the light …
Katyanna Quach, 29 Jun 2017
laser truck

US military's latest toy set: Record-breaking laser death star, er, truck

Vid Lockheed Martin says it is ready to deliver its most powerful laser weapon yet to the US military. This Death-Star-on-wheels can shoot down drones, missiles, and similar stuff, we're told. The American weapons conglomerate self-funded the building of a 30kW test system and then scaled the design up. The 60kW version is mounted …
Iain Thomson, 17 Mar 2017
Laser communicates with satellite

Boffins build laser satellite data link

A satellite's radio-communications failing is a crisis if you need to keep it from drifting off station, so a pair of boffins suggest firing up an Earth-bound laser as a backup comms channel. The idea comes from Xinchen Guo of Purdue University and Jekan Thangavelautham of Arizona State University, in a paper they've prepared …

Laser beam sky mirage cannon can spy on enemies and generate Star Trek-style shields

British defence contractor BAE Systems says it has developed a laser-powered "mirage on demand" which can be used to bend the very fabric of the skies to military commanders' whims. The Laser Developed Atmospheric Lens, developed at BAE's Warton factory in Lancashire, works by "changing the Earth's atmosphere into lens-like …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Jan 2017

Forget aircraft – now cretins are laser-blinding ferry boat crewmen

The Washington State Ferry service, on the US west coast, appears to have some high-tech enemies: a series of laser attacks have been fired at pilots on the craft that serve Seattle's Elliott Bay and the surrounding locales. On New Year's Eve the captain and the first mate of the ferry Tacoma were temporarily unsighted when …
Iain Thomson, 5 Jan 2017

British military laser death ray cannon contract still awarded, MoD confirms

The Ministry of Defence has today re-announced for the third time that it has awarded a £30m contract to build a great big feck-off laser cannon for zapping the Queen's enemies. Originally awarded in July 2016 to the Dragonfire consortium, the Laser Directed Energy Weapons (LDEW) contract immediately stalled after a challenge …
Death Star

MoD confirms award of giant frikkin' laser cannon contract

The Ministry of Defence confirmed today that it is spending £30m on a laser cannon proof-of-concept demonstrator, following a challenge to the award of the contract some months ago. The £30m deal for the Laser Directed Energy Weapon (LDEW) demonstrator will go to a consortium led by part-French defence firm MBDA, as reported …
Gareth Corfield, 16 Sep 2016

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