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Top 5 Facts About Lasers

VO: Chris Masson
Script written by Ashley Bowman It's time to set phasers from stun to inform. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts. In this instalment we're counting down the five most vaporizing facts about lasers. That's "Lightwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation" for those of you that hate acronyms. Special thanks to our user Ethan Monma for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Written by Ashley Bowman

Top 5 Facts – Lasers

It’s time to set phasers from stun to inform. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this instalment we're counting down the five most vaporizing facts about lasers. That’s “Lightwave Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” for those of you that hate acronyms.

#5: Laser Light Shows can Ruin Your Camera

We’ve all been tempted to pull out our phones at a concert and record our favorite song. But watch out because you’re actually running the risk of destroying it. Videos of “Camera kills” have popped up online showing the moment light meets lens, and the results are fatal.
This is because when concentrated beams of light make contact with a camera’s sensor it can become overexposed, burning it out instantly. Let's just take a moment to mourn the loss of all those cameras that have perished at EDM concerts.

#4: Laser Tag Was Developed by the Military

Nothing says a birthday party like a sporting game of laser-tag. It’s fun, it’s competitive, and it’s a great way to gain much needed experience for shooting down real life enemy targets. That’s right, back in the 1970s, the United States Military developed laser tag as a means of training its troops. The game was originally titled Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System, or MILES for short and a far more advanced version is even used to this day.

#3: Sci-fi Weapons Already Exist

When we think laser beams, we think those nifty rifles and ray guns from sci-fi classics. But the United States military is well on its way to developing something quite similar. In 2015, DARPA announced that they were well on the way to developing a laser weapon of unprecedented power. Known as “HELLADS”, the weapon is a fighter jet-mounted weapon that can produce a 75 Kilowatt beam of laser nastiness. Though, this death ray can’t be seen and we don’t hear that ubiquitous “pew-pew”, it’ll be devastating nonetheless. Looks like we may be well on our way to piloting X-Wings after all.

#2: Lasers Can Reach Unimaginable Temperatures

Scientists from Imperial College London recently proposed a method whereby lasers could heat materials to over Twenty-Seven-Million degrees fahrenheit. That’s hotter than the centre of the sun! This development could help scientists replicate the much needed energy given by the sun allowing for a more clean method of energy production.
Conversely, it's also quite possible to make lasers that can cool down a material. Researchers at the University of Washington discovered this breakthrough by using a combination of delicate infrared laser lights and crystals suspended in water. Though there aren’t too many practical uses for such a thing, you could theoretically build your supervillain arsenal around it.

#1: Lasers Have Many, Many Uses

The previous entries may suggest otherwise, but lasers aren’t just for destruction!
Yes, it may go without saying, but there’s a buttload of applications for them including, engraving, printing, eye correction, and hair removal. But one particularly novel use would be that of Light Detection and Ranging. “LIDAR” devices are able send a series of light pulses that scan environments and produce a detailed mapping of their structure. As is the case for most laser applications, these readings are accurate to a tee and can assist builders and geologists far more than previous means. So whether they’re harmful, helpful, or otherwise, lasers have become a staple in our human ecosystem.

So are you wanting to hit up the ol’ laser quest? Think we’ll ever see massive weaponized lasers? Until next time, for more hotter-than-the-sun Top 10s and balding, stigmatic Top 5s, be sure to subscribe to!

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