Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New super laser really super, or just an excuse to resurrect Laserium and cut down super spies?

According to a recent AP report, engineers at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have completed the world's most powerful (and possibly expensive, at $3.5 billion and counting) laser, "capable of simulating the energy force of a hydrogen bomb and the sun itself."

The lead scientist's name wouldn't happen to be Auric Goldfinger, would it?

Unlike Herr Goldfinger's little toy, however, the new super laser is made up of 192 separate laser beams. (Because apparently the 60-beam system at the University of Rochester just wasn't butch enough.) Which makes it sound a wee bit like those old Laserium shows, without the really cool music or substance abuse.

Or a Frankie Goes to Hollywood music video.

The "super" laser's primary purpose? To boldly go where no laser has gone before. (Okay, technically, it's to help government physicists ensure the reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons as they become older. But that doesn't sound nearly as cool.)

And while I am sure the super laser mission is really cool, do scientists really need a $3.5 billion super laser? Really? I know you scientific-type guys are bummed and all since your other big toy, the Large Hadron Collider, went offline, but a super laser? Couldn't you find something else to do with all that time and $3.5 billion, like solve world hunger or fix the global financial system?

Well if you must build a super laser, you could at least let the public in at night to see it, and while you're at it, how 'bout playing some really cool music? Just sayin'.


Moishie said...

We all love Laserium!!! Sheimoi loves the colors. I like the very cool music that goes with the cool colors.

Dave S. said...

You know they're going to crank Floyd when they turn that sucker on.

Also, "National Ignition Facility" is a great name for a, well, facility.

EMM said...

I wonder if they use the U of R's laser beam at the Gennessee High Falls laser light show? Who new my hometown was so well armed?

Thanks for the 80's video!!!

EMM said...

I am too tired to spell. :) EMM

Anonymous said...

J- am totally scared! Again-you are worse then the Halloween series because it is TRUE!!!

Kendor said...

Dude, give me Laser Zeppelin or Laser Floyd at the Hayden Planetarium!

Anonymous said...

unfortunately, this kind of humor parallels the mccain/palin not-so-funny anti-science drumbeat opposing research on fruit flies et al.

J. said...

And that comment shows a total lack of sense of humor. Geez, Anonymous (that's probably not even your real name), lighten up, Dude. Btw, think how many fruit flies that thing could dissect in, like, a nanosecond. Awesome.