Boeing Patents Star Trek-Like Force Field Technology For Vehicles

Force fields have been a mainstay in science fiction since just about forever. Now, the future may finally be close at hand as Boeing recently patented a "method and system for shock wave attenuation via electromagnetic arc," which aims to make invisible and instant protection from nearby explosions a reality. » 3/23/15 2:52pm 3/23/15 2:52pm

This Is the World’s Highest Peak-Power Laser Diode Array

Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have created the world's highest peak-power laser diode array, capable of creating up to 3.2 megawatts. The new device will be used in Europe's new Extreme Light facility, which will be as bad-ass as it sounds. » 3/17/15 5:45am 3/17/15 5:45am

This Is What Lockheed's New Laser Can Do

Lockheed Martin recently tested its new Advanced Test High Energy Asset (ATHENA) laser—not to be confused with the Navy's laser—on the Ford F-150 pictured above. The weapons system hit the truck's running engine from a mile away. The engine doesn't run any more. » 3/06/15 5:35pm 3/06/15 5:35pm

IMAX's New Laser Projectors Make Me Wish I Lived In a Movie Theater

Surround sound and 4K TVs are great for watching movies at home, but there's still nothing like sitting in front of a gigantic screen in an IMAX theater. I recently got an exclusive first look at the company's next-generation digital laser projectors, and I walked away from the experience wanting to see every single… » 3/05/15 2:43pm 3/05/15 2:43pm

Reagan's Star Wars Missile Program Had Its Own Video Game

Remember President Ronald Reagan's plan for space weapons in the 1980s? Today, it's little more than a punchline, but it used to be serious business. How serious? Video game serious. Yes, there really was an SDI video game, and thanks to the Internet Archive you can even play it. » 2/27/15 2:40pm 2/27/15 2:40pm

A Car Bumper Laser Helps Prevent Rear-End Collisions in Fog

It's one of the most passive forms of weather on the planet, but fog accounts for countless pileups and accidents on roads and highways because drivers simply can't see the cars in front of them. But this simple bumper-mounted laser promises to help remedy that by shining a bright red line on the road, 15 to 20 feet… » 2/06/15 9:30am 2/06/15 9:30am

Inventor of the Laser Dies

Charles Townes, the physicist whose work would help lay the foundations for the development of the laser died today. He was 99. His career also ranged far beyond an interest in lasers, into astronomy and a fascination with spirituality. » 1/27/15 6:20pm 1/27/15 6:20pm

Watch This Reflected Laser Pulse's Entire Flight Path at 20bn FPS

The technology available to image light as it moves through space continues to advance. Recently, we saw a new high-speed camera capture a small pulse reflected from a mirror; now, it's possible to image the entire flight path of a laser as it bounces around a laboratory. » 1/27/15 6:45am 1/27/15 6:45am

This Telescope Is Shooting a Laser Right at the ISS

Who gave this telescope a light saber? Just kidding: this is, of course, the ESA's Optical Ground Station telescope in Tenerife—in the process of laser tagging the ISS to establish a data connection. » 1/22/15 5:00am 1/22/15 5:00am

Ray Gun Rulers Make You Actually Want to Solve For Y

At some point in a child's life they eventually make the connection that a long plastic ruler is not unlike the barrel of a gun, and suddenly math homework gets a lot more enjoyable as they blast away at imaginary aliens between problems. The folks at Atypyk have taken that idea one step further with a pair of plastic… » 1/16/15 10:00am 1/16/15 10:00am

This Tabletop Gadget Steers Light with a Wall of Sound

Our collective Holodeck-Danger Room fantasies are one step closer to reality thanks to a new acousto-optic device described in the latest issue of the journal Optics Express. It can manipulate laser beams in near real time using nothing but sound waves. » 1/08/15 11:40am 1/08/15 11:40am

The Sparkle Guns that Keep Military Air Transports Safe

Commercial airlines aren't the only planes under attack from shoulder-fired rockets and missiles these days, a number of slow-moving vehicles in the US Air Force have come under increased threat of being shot down. That's why the USAF is outfitting many of them with sparkling laser blasters to confound inbound threats. » 12/24/14 12:20pm 12/24/14 12:20pm

A Real-Life Laser Tri-Blade Lightsaber Is the Best Worst Idea

A Wicked Lasers product has long been the closest you can get to a real-life lightsaber, but there are some Jedi weapons better left on the screen. If the tri-blade lightsaber revealed in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser has caught your eye, and safety isn't your utmost concern, with the help of a 3D printer… » 12/22/14 11:08am 12/22/14 11:08am

Watch the Navy's New Laser Cannon Successfully Fry a Drone 

After months at sea patrolling the Persian Gulf region, the USS Ponce and its shiny new laser cannon have successfully confronted and destroyed not only an unmanned aerial vehicle but also an incoming speed boat and other moving targets—all without breaking a sweat. » 12/10/14 2:40pm 12/10/14 2:40pm

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

This High Speed Camera Tracks Light Bouncing Off a Mirror at 100bn FPS

Slow-motion photography is cool and all, but now a team of scientists has decided to use high-speed photography to track light as it travels through space. In this GIF, you're looking at a pulse of light hitting and bouncing off of a mirror. Really. » 12/05/14 4:30am 12/05/14 4:30am

This Is What Plane-Mounted Laser Guns Could Look Like

DARPA is going gaga over the pew-pew. The department just awarded a Northrop Grumman a $20.2 million contract to begin the second phase of its Excalibur Program—one which aims to give the same kind of missile-frying laser cannon that's currently patrolling the Persian Gulf to America's Air Force. » 11/26/14 3:00pm 11/26/14 3:00pm

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

The U.S. Navy's First Laser Cannon Is Now Deployed in the Persian Gulf

After seven years and $40 million of development, the US Navy has finally sent its prototype laser weapon, one capable of blowing holes clean through UAVs, on patrol throughout the disputed Persian Gulf. » 11/17/14 12:52pm 11/17/14 12:52pm

Scientists Are Sending Data-Carrying Spiral Lasers Across Entire Cities

Twisted laser beams may just be the key to unlimited bandwidth in the future—and now a team of scientists has used them to beam data through the air, from one side of Vienna to the other. » 11/12/14 7:15am 11/12/14 7:15am