Trains Could Get Lasers To Burn Slippery Wet Leaves Off the Tracks

Each autumn, leaves fall to the ground by the billions. Slightly annoying if you have a backyard but really annoying if you run a railroad company. It turns out those leaves are a slippery menace on train tracks. That's why Dutch Railways is testing a high-energy solution: Train-mounted lasers. » 12/05/14 2:45pm 12/05/14 2:45pm

James Bond's Laser-Cutting Watch Is Finally a Reality

Thanks to some clever special effects, the gadgets that Q creates for James Bond and other MI6 agents are often well ahead of their time. So much so that it's only now, more than 31 years after Never Say Never Again hit theaters, that we finally have a wristwatch with a built-in laser powerful enough to do some damage. » 11/21/14 9:01am 11/21/14 9:01am

Video: How removing tattoos with lasers works

Smarter Every Day takes an in-depth look at something super cool: removing tattoos with the help of lasers. The science behind it is fascinating, all the zapping lasers do is basically break down the bigger ink blobs inside your skin and let your body's white blood cells and liver take care of the rest of the removal… » 10/30/14 9:05pm 10/30/14 9:05pm

New Laser Projector Makes 3D Images That Hang In Mid-Air

Maybe the solution to touchscreen displays that don't get washed out in direct sunlight is to skip the screen altogether. Researchers at Aerial Burton are working to perfect a new kind of display technology that uses lasers to produce 3D pixelated images that appear to hang in mid-air and are still visible no matter… » 10/29/14 8:56am 10/29/14 8:56am

A Collar Laser Pointer Is the Dangling Carrot Your Pet Will Never Catch

The only thing better than a toy that keeps your cat and dog occupied for hours is one that requires no intervention on your part. A ball needs to be tossed, a pull toy needs to be tugged, but this laser pointer that clips onto a collar will have your pet chasing, but never catching, that small red dot until they're… » 10/02/14 5:00pm 10/02/14 5:00pm

Radio Tornadoes Could Deliver Neverending Wi-Fi Capacity Some Day

Coaxial wiring—like what runs into your cable box—revolutionized data transmission by drastically widening the wire's data pipeline. Two years ago, a research team from University of Southern California accomplished the feat using a vortex of lasers. Now, that same team is back with a means of coiling radio waves… » 9/18/14 4:45pm 9/18/14 4:45pm

This Dazzling Laser Show Is Way More Effective Than Any Warning Shot

Warning shots are a waste of ammunition and not a particularly effective deterrent. Instead, modern warfighters inform potentially lost civilians/potential suicide bombers that they're in the soldier's rifle sights by blasting them with laser light from barrel-mounted laser dazzlers like these. » 9/02/14 11:40am 9/02/14 11:40am

Physicists Use Lasers to Chill the World's Coldest Molecules

If you thought last winter was cold, you should stay as far away from magneto-optical trapping as possible. Yale physicists recently used this technique to cool a molecule of strontium monoflouride down to 2.5 thousandths of a degree above absolute zero. That makes them the world's coldest molecules. » 8/25/14 10:54am 8/25/14 10:54am

Time lapse of an airport makes airplanes look like shooting stars

Aside from going through security and lugging around your carry on and rushing to the gate and avoiding human swarms, airplanes are magical places. Okay, maybe not. But there's beauty in how they operate. Just watch this ballet of airplanes at Shanghai's airport. It's like seeing man made shooting stars. » 8/14/14 9:35pm 8/14/14 9:35pm

Making Faster Optical "Cables" Using Nothing But Lasers and Air

Pulses of light are the absolute fastest way to transfer data (because nothing's faster than light), but old school fiber optic cables can only go so many places. Scientists have a new idea: use high-powered lasers to make a column of low-density air that can carry a light signal just as well as a normal cable. Yes,… » 7/22/14 11:23am 7/22/14 11:23am