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Laser

Science

Shape-changing mirror puts lasers in focus

One cinematic cliché we've all seen is when the hero deflects the villain's dastardly laser beam with a hastily snatched hand mirror, sending it back at his adversary. Physics, ever the wet blanket, says that this is a highly improbable scenario. Focusing high-powered lasers isn't easy. A powerful laser distorts the mirror, throwing the beam off and spreading it out uselessly. To combat this, Fraunhofer is developing a lens that can deform itself to compensate for heating and other distortion factors to keep lasers focused on target.Read More

Military

Laser weapon adds sea-going craft to its list of conquests

Lockheed Martin’s ADAM (Area Defense Anti-Munitions) High Energy Laser (HEL) system is part of a growing breed of high-energy weapons being developed for the armed forces of the near future. Having previously demonstrated its ability to track, target, and destroy rockets at high speed and at distances of up to 2 km (1.2 miles), the versatility of the ADAM system has been further established by taking aim at waterborne targets, successfully disabling a military-grade boat in a test on May 7 in the Pacific Ocean.Read More

Electronics

DPI details 10,000 lumen laser projector ahead of July release

Digital Projection International (DPI) has announced the forthcoming release of what's claimed to be the first production high-brightness laser projector in the world. The low maintenance HIGHlite LASER WUXGA 3D delivers 10,000 lumens from a stable solid state illumination system rated for over 20,000 hours, which negates the need for regular lamp replacement cycles.Read More

Games

Open-source Skirmos aims for advanced laser tag gameplay

From Pong, to 2D platforms and onto online first person shooters, our desire for an increasingly realistic gaming experience was always going to see platforms emerge where we combat our friends, foes and flesh-eating zombies using our real-world bodies. Skirmos, the latest take on the laser tag system, uses gun-mounted LCD display, radio-based dynamic scoring and open-source programming in an attempt bring the complex and varied experience of the modern multi-player shooter to life. Read More

Medical

New device uses laser to provide life-saving information on patients' blood

Not everyone's blood clots at the same rate. While that might seem like simply an interesting bit of trivia, it's anything but trivial to doctors performing operations or emergency procedures, who need to know what might be required in the way of transfusions or anticoagulant drugs. Now, an optical device can provide them with that information within minutes. Read More

Science

New laser shines a light on breath testing for disease

Various institutes around the world have long touted the potential of breath testing as a form of early and non-invasive disease detection. Now a research team from Australia's University of Adelaide has developed a new kind of laser with the ability to detect low concentrations of gases, opening up even more possibilities for disease diagnosis and other applications such us measuring the concentration of particular greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Read More

Space

Bad moon rising: Astronomers explain "full moon curse"

The full moon has long been associated with any number of superstitions. While links with lunacy, violence, fertility, disasters, and the stock market have been thoroughly debunked, the possibility of a causative role in some arenas still remains a possibility. A lunar ranging study carried out using reflectors has long contended with the "Full-Moon Curse," a near-total fading of reflected signals during the full Moon. This Curse is real, and has now been explained.Read More

Energy

Scientists announce breakthrough in quest for fusion power

In a perfect example of beating swords into plowshares, a team of scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California reached a milestone in the quest for practical fusion power using a process designed for the development and testing of nuclear weapons. The announcement in the February 12 issue of Nature claims that the team used the world’s most powerful laser barrage to produce a controlled fusion reaction where more energy was extracted from the fuel than was put into it.Read More

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