Engineering

High-energy laser weapons: How they work, what they are used for

Nations around the world are rapidly developing high-energy laser weapons for military missions on land and sea, and in the air and space. Visions of swarms of small, inexpensive drones filling the skies or skimming across ...

Engineering

3D printed titanium structure shows supernatural strength

A 3D printed 'metamaterial' boasting levels of strength for weight not normally seen in nature or manufacturing could change how we make everything from medical implants to aircraft or rocket parts.

Engineering

A 20 kW laser system for producing high-purity crystals

High-purity semiconductor crystals are required for power electronics in electric cars or in photovoltaics. When such crystals reach a diameter of 2 inches, they become relevant for industrial applications.

Engineering

Drone-zapping laser weapons now effective (and cheap) reality

A single burst of light is precisely aimed at a tiny drone flying at breakneck speed far in the distance. Instants later, the deactivated drone crashes into the sea. Not a sound made, no human casualties, no messy explosions. ...

Engineering

New 3D printing method creates a steel-aluminum fusion hybrid

Steel and aluminum are key players in supporting economic growth, yet materials joining them remain unexplored due to their fusion zones' brittleness. A new 3D printing method's fix may be a step toward a steel-aluminum hybrid ...

Engineering

Ultrafast lasers on ultra-tiny chips

Lasers have become relatively commonplace in everyday life, but they have many uses outside of providing light shows at raves and scanning barcodes on groceries. Lasers are also of great importance in telecommunications and ...

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Laser

A laser is a device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process called stimulated emission. The term laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Laser light is usually spatially coherent, which means that the light either is emitted in a narrow, low-divergence beam, or can be converted into one with the help of optical components such as lenses. Typically, lasers are thought of as emitting light with a narrow wavelength spectrum ("monochromatic" light). This is not true of all lasers, however: some emit light with a broad spectrum, while others emit light at multiple distinct wavelengths simultaneously. The coherence of typical laser emission is distinctive. Most other light sources emit incoherent light, which has a phase that varies randomly with time and position.

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