laser

Super-powerful laser creates plasma hotter than the sun

Super-powerful laser creates plasma hotter than the sun

The sun is very, very hot. We have all known this since grade school. Scientists have created an incredibly powerful laser that can create plasma that is many times hotter than the center of the sun. The incredibly powerful laser that is able to create the intensely heated plasma has 200-trillion watts of power. The photo here is a shot of that laser and the incredibly bright spot is the super hot plasma.

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ISS could mount lasers to blast away space debris

ISS could mount lasers to blast away space debris

As the ISS floats above earth, it's actually hurtling around its orbit at 17,000 mph. Any debris that it encounters at that speed could have major consequences, so the ISS often has to change course throughout its orbit just to avoid space debris from previous missions. According to NASA, there are about 3,000 tons of space debris in a cloud around Earth in low-Earth orbit. There is another belt of debris higher above the earth in geo-synchronous orbit. A team of Japanese scientists proposed a solution using lasers to blast the debris before it can damage the ISS.

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Star Wars virtual keyboard taps R2-Q5

Star Wars virtual keyboard taps R2-Q5

The original R2-D2 virtual keyboard is gone. It's forever on the shelves and in the display cases of collectors around the world, for the rest of time. For those of you that missed it, there's always the imperial droid R2-Q5, his black and orange-ness, as we call him around here. This fellow is being released by the same company that originally released his R2-D2 equivalent, and this version will be released on May the 4th, 2015, just in time for the most important holiday of the entire year.

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How NOT to play space invaders: with a laser-cutter

How NOT to play space invaders: with a laser-cutter

Space Invaders is right up there in the gaming hall of fame, together with the likes of Pong and Pac-man, which have sparked the imagination and creativity of many young ones, despite or even probably because of the simplistic 8-bit style. And when it comes to imagination and creativity, nothing beats this new generation of makers and their tools. Like this one Martin Raynsford, who turned an essential tool that he uses for work into, what else, a physical, real, and probably really dangerous game of Space Invaders.

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BoXZY crams a mill, laser, and 3D-printer into one desktop maker

BoXZY crams a mill, laser, and 3D-printer into one desktop maker

Makers and artists, rejoice! BoXZY wants to bring the power of manufacturing-level tools, once only available to industry giants, to your desktop. BoXZY is setting itself apart on Kickstarter by offering more than just 3D-printing. BoXZY is designed to be an all-in-one machine shop, functioning as a 3D-printer, mill, and a laser engraver. Each tool exists as a rapid-change attachment, allowing the user to swiftly switch between mechanisms. Its creators, Justin and Joel Johnson, want to break the barriers like cost, location, and space that individual makers encounter in the industry.

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ODiN Aurora mouse projects a laser trackpad onto surfaces

ODiN Aurora mouse projects a laser trackpad onto surfaces

ODiN is a mouse that functions like a trackpad, only it uses projected lasers rather than traditional hardware. The design, upon first glance, appears to be a Transformer, but it's not -- it's the Norse god of war, and the projected image includes a laser spear to drive that theme home. The mouse works by sitting on a desk and projecting a "trackpad" onto the surface in which the user can control their computer's cursor. More details after the jump!

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Lockheed Martin laser burns through truck engine a mile away

Lockheed Martin laser burns through truck engine a mile away

While some some people, particularly those in science and medical circles, are trying to paint a less than apocalyptic picture of the use of lasers, some, like Lockheed Martin, are reinforcing that imagery. The security and aerospace company has just demonstrated how a laser with a 30-kilowatt punching force was able to stop a truck dead in its tracks by burning through the engine manifold in just a matter of seconds. And this was done, not at close range, but at a distance of more than a mile.

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Bumper car laser cuts through fog to let others know you’re there

Bumper car laser cuts through fog to let others know you’re there

Driving has its inherent dangers, but weather conditions can increase the odds of a crash considerably, and fog is one of the bigger culprits. If you can't see a car before it's too late, you might rear end it before you can apply the brakes -- something that also happens too often during heavy snow fall. There's not much you can do about that except hope others notice you're in front of them...or mount a laser to your bumper that projects visible guidelines to anyone who might be behind you.

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Scientists capture laser bouncing off a mirror on video

Scientists capture laser bouncing off a mirror on video

The fact that lasers can be bounced off a mirror is nothing new. Anyone with a laser pointer can figure this out for themselves and researchers have been bouncing lasers off mirrors for years. A group of scientists has captured the flight path of a laser beam on video for the first time. Capturing the laser on video is much more difficult than it might seem.

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Microsoft Research wants to use lasers to recharge phones

Microsoft Research wants to use lasers to recharge phones

Wireless charging, with all its competing standards, has nothing on Microsoft Research's rather ambitious idea. The research arm of the tech giant is looking for the most efficient and, at the same time, safest way to charge mobile devices without involving strangling cables and hugging walls. It's answer? Lasers, not the destructive kind you see in fiction or medicine but light that carries energy, making our smartphones the functional equivalent of energy-gathering solar panels, except without the need to look for the sun every time you need a battery boost.

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