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Lasers

  1. Let’s Go Ahead And Add “Makes Lasers” To Graphene’s Already Impressive Resume

    Graphene continues to impress by showing its ability to create ultrashort pulses of laser light.

    We get it, graphene -- you're amazing. We've more or less accepted that there's nothing graphene can't do, but that doesn't stop us from being amazed every time it does something new. It's newest feat is that the super-material can be used to create ultrashort-pulse lasers. Damn, graphene. Save some cool stuff for the other materials to do.

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  2. This Replica of the Dead Space Plasma Cutter Will Burn Its Way Into Your Heart, Or Nightmares

    Replicas of video game weapons are fun, but you can only get so much enjoyment out of waving a toy laser around and shouting, "Pew! Pew!" Sometimes you want to step your game up, and that's exactly what Patrick Priebe has done. There are a lot of videos on YouTube that show Dead Space Plasma Cutter replicas, but Priebe's actually fires lasers -- and it burns stuff.

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  3. Navy Ships Getting Laser Weapons In 2014 [Video]

    After years and billions of dollars spent in development, the Navy's Laser Weapon System (LaWS) has been deemed ready for primetime, meaning the directed-energy weapons will start making appearances on the decks of U.S. military ships beginning next year. The solid-state laser, which will make stage its coming out on the USS Ponce, is still in it prototype stage, and isn't yet capable of eliminating a missile or enemy jet, but Navy officials are confident that it could disable other ships, and as for drones...well, you can see it blasting one out of the air during a test in the video below.

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  4. Green Laser Pointers: With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility

    What's a good tool that can lead presentations, point out constellations, and occupy cats with perfect precision? Laser pointers, of course! And while they can be really useful, lately it seems like they're not being used right. They're getting used to annoy moviegoers in theaters or get kids prison time. Unwise, folks. Now a new study shows that laser pointers -- especially the green ones -- are even more dangerous than we often assume.

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  5. New Treatment Could Blast Cocaine Addiction Out of the Brain With Lasers

    Cocaine addiction is notoriously difficult to treat, but researchers working on ways to fight it may have a unexpected new weapon in their arsenal -- lasers. Recent research in the field of optogenetics suggests that using lasers to turn certain parts of the brain on and off could help to curb addicts craving for the drug. Take that, cocaine addiction! Pew pew pew!

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  6. 19-Year-Old Scores 30-Month Prison Sentence for Shining Laser at Aircraft

    You might think we live in a world where people would realize that pointing lasers at aircraft is a bad idea. You might think that, but you're wrong if you do. On March 29th, 2012, 19-year-old Adam Gardenhire was arrested for exactly this -- pointing a green laser at a bunch of aircraft. He won't be doing it for some time, though, since he's earned himself 30 months in jail.

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  7. Digital Holographs Let Firefighters See Through Smoke And Flame

    When firefighters rush into a burning building, they're equipped to deal with extreme temperatures. They're not as equipped to locate the people they're there to save through the smoke and fire. Researchers of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) in Italy are working on a new way to see through the chaos of a fire using holographic imaging. It's officially the future.

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  8. Researchers Propose Giant Space Laser for Fending Off Future Asteroids

    Frightened of rocks from outer space falling on your head today? You can be forgiven for that, as it's a going concern this afternoon. Researchers at the University of California -- Santa Barbara and California Polytechnic State University are proposing a way to put your troubled mind at ease, though. They want to launch an array of solar-powered lasers into orbit that they say could not only deflect or vaporize incoming asteroids, but also be put to uses like powering future spacecraft as they explore the solar system.

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  9. Laser The Size Of A Virus Uses Nano Bow Ties To Create Tiny Laser Beams

    Northwestern University researchers can put a tiny little feather in their hat today as they have announced the creation of the world's smallest working laser -- one about the size of a virus. The incredibly miniaturized laser can operate at room temperature, and, even more impressively, seems to defy the diffraction limit of light using a nano-scale laser cavity that's shaped like a bowtie. Bill Nye must be so very proud right now.

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  10. Physicists Invent (Tiny) Working Tractor Beam, World Becomes Instantly More Awesome

    You guys, hold the phone. Drop whatever you're doing right now. Is it dropped? Yes? Good. We have tractor beams now! Like where you zap a thing with a laser and pull it toward you with beam power? Yeah, those! We have those now. Even though they are super tiny and effective only on microscopic items like silica spheres suspended in water for right now, they are still working tractor beams, and now that we have the principle down, they are pretty much only going to get cooler from here. If you can't get excited about that, I don't even know what to say, as I have to assume you are already dead inside.

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