When you're aiming at a target two miles away, the slightest perturbation could end up causing a catastrophic miss — not good enough for today's military. Until guns can aim themselves, snipers need the most accurate weapons possible. Engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory came up with a laser-guided correction system that ensures a shooter's crosshairs are always on the mark.
The new Reticle Compensating Rifle Barrel Reference Sensor measures slight disruptions in a gun barrel, automatically compensating for how they would impact a bullet's trajectory and adjusting the gun's crosshairs accordingly.
A gigantic laser experiment intended to study the nature of gravity and an x-ray telescope designed to look at black holes are being swept into the dustbin of history, too big and too expensive to survive the federal budget ax. NASA is skipping out on LISA, the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna, and the International X-Ray Observatory.
By Mikkel Andersen, a physicist at the University at Otago in New Zealand, as told to Flora LichtmanPosted 04.12.2011 at 11:32 am 0 Comments
"We created a method to control individual atoms, to get them exactly where we want them, when we want them: an atom trap. Atoms are very fast, so we use powerful cooling lasers to slow them down. The lasers are on a table floating on air cushions, in a room without windows so we can't harm people on the street. We need laser beams coming from all directions so there's a force on the atom opposite its motion regardless of which direction it's moving. It's like a bicyclist's nightmare: Whichever way you go, the wind is against you.
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.
A new type of sensor can identify substances as small as a molecule by examining the light they reflect, potentially leading to sensors for a wide range of substances, from explosives to cancer.
The DARPA-funded sensor uses a chip full of metal pillars to boost the light signals bouncing off an object. It’s a billion times more sensitive than was previously possible, according to researchers at Princeton University.
Space debris could be nudged out of the way using a moderately sized Earth-based laser, a team of NASA researchers suggests in a new paper. The laser wouldn’t blast the debris to smithereens, but combined with a ground-based telescope, it could be used to move space junk into a different orbit so it would not collide with other debris or important spacecraft.
A chunk of magnetite guards the office door at the Pea Ridge iron mine near Sullivan, Mo., a mascot of the mine's past and future. When Jim Kennedy bought the mine in 2001, he'd planned to restart production on a high-grade iron ore deposit. He didn't realize he was sitting on a mother lode of 600,000 metric tons of high-grade rare earth elements -- elements the U.S. is desperately hungry for. Four years ago, he almost threw away reams of documents describing Pea Ridge's deposit. "Nobody bothered to tell me about it," he said.
Engineers in the UK have designed a new manufacturing process using powdered materials, using it to “grow” a weird ivory-colored bicycle made of nylon. They say it is as strong as steel. The designers hope the growth process, a type of 3-D laser printing, could revolutionize manufacturing, according to the BBC.
There's no escaping it: though the tractor beam is a staple of sci-fi space-faring scenarios, it's also extremely counter-intuitive. How does one pull something in via an outward propagating beam? Now a few Chinese researchers think they've found the answer via a theoretical method that should generate a backward pulling force from a forward traveling stream of photons.
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.