Whats that smell? Why, it's a 500 trillion watt mega laser deciphering the mysteries of space's gas giants, that's what that smell is. Get a good whiff, because you're about the learn something.

The mega laser, formerly used to generate fusion data for nuclear weapon simulations, works by frying iron and other materials. The laser's intense heat vaporizes metal, and the reaction should allow scientists to "get inside" gas giants like Jupiter, where internal pressure is hypothesized to be 1,000 greater than the center of the Earth. "The chemistry of these planets is completely unexplored," says Raymond Jeanloz, the man with his finger on one of the most powerful lasers in the world. "It's never been accessible in the laboratory before."


Eventually, if all goes according to this mastermind's ingenious plan, the laser could provide the data necessary to create a commercial fusion power plant. Or was the the data necessary to end the world? I forget. [New Scientist]