World's first anti-laser developed, cancels out laser beams

The anti-laser could put a stop to this kind of lavish laser show, presumably.
The anti-laser could put a stop to this kind of lavish laser show, presumably.

Lasers, eh? They get around. When they're not repelling pirates or recycling old TVs, they're

blinding ravers


reducing things to small piles of dust


Well, not any more they're not. Over at Yale University, scientists have developed an anti-laser, which is capable of absorbing an incoming laser beam.

There's nothing uncool about a laser. Literally.

Before you paranoid androids make plans to cover your home in anti-lasers to evade any aggressive laser beams coming your way, we have to tell you that it won't do you much good:

"The energy [from the laser] gets dissipated as heat. So if someone sets a laser on you with enough power to fry you, the anti-laser won't stop you from frying," said Professor Stone, who worked on the project.

Instead, the anti-laser's laser-absorption could come in handy as optical switches in next-gen computing, which may use optical components that work with light instead of electrons.

The device traps incoming beams of light using two lasers of a specific frequency. The incoming laser is then directed to a specially designed optical cavity made of silicon, where it's forced to bounce around until it's worn out and its energy is spent.

Spent in heat, it would seem, meaning that some super efficient cooling systems may also be required.

Still, we'll happily imagine the anti-laser being put to good use in an epic struggle between good and evil, probably somewhere in space or in a cyber-pyramid. Get to it, Hollywood.


News Editor (UK)

Former UK News Editor for TechRadar, it was a perpetual challenge among the TechRadar staff to send Kate (Twitter, Google+) a link to something interesting on the internet that she hasn't already seen. As TechRadar's News Editor (UK), she was constantly on the hunt for top news and intriguing stories to feed your gadget lust. Kate now enjoys life as a renowned music critic – her words can be found in the i Paper, Guardian, GQ, Metro, Evening Standard and Time Out, and she's also the author of 'Amy Winehouse', a biography of the soul star.