ADVERTISEMENT
  About the SA Blog Network

Posts Tagged "laser"

Observations

Why Lasers Won’t Protect Airliners

A mobile Buk surface-to-air missile launcher, similar to that believed to have been used to shoot down Flight 17. Image courtesy of .:Ajvol:. via Wikimedia Commons.

Questions over the best way to protect civilian aircraft from surface-launched missiles have reemerged in light of the recent Malaysia Airlines tragedy over the Ukraine. On July 17, a medium-range Buk surface-to-air missile fired from the territory controlled by pro-Russia separatists reportedly struck Flight 17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Boeing [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Berkeley Laser Fires Pulses Hundreds of Times More Powerful Than All the World’s Electric Plants Combined

BELLA petawatt laser at LBL

Blink and you’ll miss it. Don’t blink, and you’ll still miss it. Imagine a device capable of delivering more power than all of the world’s electric plants. But this is not a prop for the next James Bond movie. A new laser at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was put through its paces July 20, delivering [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

What’s in a Femtosecond of Laser Light? A Map of Electron Energy

Illuminate a piece of metal, such as copper or silver, and the electrons get excited. These excitable particles in turn alter the electromagnetic fields that give rise to many of the properties technologists exploit, such as copper’s excellent performance as a conductor of electricity. Efforts to observe electrons have become easier in recent years, thanks [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Better Lasers Developed to Defend U.S. Choppers from Shoulder-Fired Missiles [Video]

military,defense,laser

At next week’s Paris Air Show, the U.S. military hopes to get a good look at the latest technology designed to protect low-flying aircraft against small arms and shoulder-fired missiles, a persistent threat to our helicopters throughout the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns. Of particular interest are Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) under development by several prominent [...]

Keep reading »
Observations

Lasers at the cutting edge of science

laser,anniversary

“When you flash a laser for the first time…it’s like you’ve created something magical.” Tom Baer, executive director of the Stanford Photonics Research Center, said this to me recently when I asked him why he’s spent the past three decades both studying and developing the technology. Aesthetics aside, Baer says he’s seeing a “renaissance” in [...]

Keep reading »

More from Scientific American

Scientific American Back To School

Back to School Sale!

12 Digital Issues + 4 Years of Archive Access just $19.99

Order Now >

X

Email this Article

X