A Navy laser set fire to a small ship bobbing in unruly seas this week, the first at-sea demonstration of one of the Navy’s ray guns.
Check out the Navy’s video of a fire slowly consuming the inflatable boat’s outboard motors.
The Navy's death ray weapon keeps burning through laser records, on its way to the ultimate goal of searing through 2,000 feet of steel per second.
The Free Electron Laser's latest milestone involved running its electron injection system for eight hours at 500 kilovolts. That will help the laser become more powerful and more deadly, as Wired's Danger Room reports.
It’s unclear which is the bigger news coming out of the Office of Naval Research; the fact that the Navy’s Free Electron Laser (FEL) program has demonstrated an injector capable of producing the necessary electrons to fuel a megawatt-class laser beam, or the fact that a next-generation future weapon under development by the military is months ahead of schedule. Both are good news for the Navy, which might begin lasing threats out of the sky sooner than it anticipated.
Someday lasers will melt away your fat cells like so many pats of Plugra
Fat is under fire once again, this time in the crosshairs of a free-electron laser at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia. By carefully limiting the lasers wavelength, researchers found a way to heat up different tissues at different rates, sending fat up in (figurative) flames while the contents of neighboring cells (most importantly, water) remain pleasantly cool. Tests on skin samples show promising results: Fat cells get about twice as hot as surrounding tissues. The fat is thus destroyed, and the body processes and removes it just like any other waste. Scientists have high hopes that the laser will one day erase ill-intentioned fat from all corners of the body. Possible targets include clogged arteries, acne-ridden skin and, yes, the occasional patch of cellulite. —Eric Mika