Sasers: Turns Out, Soundwaves Can Kill

Using sound beams to control crowds isn't new, but never before have systems been able to create sounds reaching terahertz frequencies, earning them the name "saser."

Signaling the dawn of the true saser era, physicists from the UK and Ukraine have broken this apparently elusive terahertz sound barrier. Unlike lasers that shoot photons in a tight beam of light, sasers are able to emit dispersed vibrations in high frequences of sound waves, creating nausea and confusion when used on humans.

The latest and most powerful saser has proven to be able to produce phonons—some quantum-level measurement of vibration that could (one day) be used to cure cancer or shoot enemies, among other things—in distant objects. These early tests of the saser reveal its potential of one day (we think) being able to make someone explode, from the inside out, using just a handful of terahertz—similar to what would happen to your brain at a Hannah Montana concert. [New Scientist]