Video: Laser Beam Makes Falling Droplets Explode

In slow motion

In mere fractions of a second, a laser turns a millimeter-sized droplet of liquid into a constellation of tiny fragments. Captured at 20,000 frames per second by a team of researchers from the University of Twente in the Netherlands, “Laser Impact On A Drop” is violently beautiful.

Here’s now the researchers describe the experiment:

That’s cool, but better semiconductors seems both important and the least exciting use of this technology possible. What we really want to know: If this is scaled up enough, can it reduce an Alderaan-sized planet into so much space dust?


Kelsey D. Atherton

Kelsey D. Athertonis a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.