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EU Shark Science Technology

EU Working On Most Powerful Laser Ever Built 83

Posted by samzenpus
from the that's-no-moon dept.
kkleiner writes "On the coattails of CERN's success with the Large Hadron Collider, Europeans and the world at large have another grand science project to be excited about: the Extreme Light Infrastructure project to build the most powerful laser ever constructed. These lasers will be intense enough to perform electron dynamics experiments at very short time scales or venture into relativistic optics, opening up an entirely new field of physics for study. Additionally, the lasers could be combined to generate a super laser that would shoot into space, similar to the combined laser effect of the Death Star in the Star Wars trilogy, though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets."
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EU Working On Most Powerful Laser Ever Built

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:38AM (#42026567)

    http://what-if.xkcd.com/13/

    • by ranulf (182665)
      What about all the stuff in the atmosphere the laser will destroy before it hits anything in space? It's not like we need another hole in the ozone layer...
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Sigh.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        http://what-if.xkcd.com/13/

        What about all the stuff in the atmosphere the laser will destroy before it hits anything in space? It's not like we need another hole in the ozone layer...

        Yes, but look on the bright side, everybody between 0 degrees E and 120 degrees E, would be treated to a rain of roasted bird meat.

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)
      That's a badass laser... 1w laser for "personal" use [wickedlasers.com]
  • Already featured (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:38AM (#42026571) Homepage
    Slashdot has already featured at least one story recently about ELI. I can only assume that we're seeing this again because the possibility of shark jokes leads to more page views, which in turn generated more profits from advertising for this site's avarice-drunk proprietors.
    • by Razgorov Prikazka (1699498) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:03AM (#42026847)
      It will be either the 'sharks with frikkin lasers atached to their head'-jokes, or an accumulation of these people who thought that the LHC would produce micro-black-holes getting all excited about blowing something up. Turning from black hole alarmist to Death Star alarmists.
      I wonder if these people are the same as the;
        - OMG the acidic rain will render the world uninhabitable! We must do something or we are all gonna die!
        - OMG the LHC will end the world with a man-made black hole! We must do something or we are all gonna die!
        - OMG they want to ship radio active waste to the moon! Think about the radiation! Think about the kids! We must do something or we are all gonna die!
        - OMG you drove a car today, according to these models, that will raise the sea level three feet by next Thursday you idiot! We must do something or we are all gonna die!
        - OMG the Mayan calender is going to finish us all! We must do something or we are all gonna die!
        - OMG they want to teach the kids Darwinism! We must do something or we are all gonna die!
        - OMG the Y2K bug! We must do something or we are all gonna die!
        - OMG Ponies!
      These people somehow never get tired of running around, waving their arms in the air like an evil Dervish... Just like some people are never getting tired of sharks / beowulf clusters / does it run Linux / your anus jokes... No matter how funny / annoying (pick one) that is, it is less harmful than the alarmist. So, I would really rather have you picking at the alarmist :-)
      • One of the most spot on posts I've seen here in a while; touche. I'd be more fearful of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program but even that monstrosity won't FUBAR the ozone...the ionosphere and/or localized weather maybe, but rest easy, your beloved ozone layer is safe for now.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Frequency_Active_Auroral_Research_Program [wikipedia.org]
      • by Whiteox (919863)

        I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

      • by prefec2 (875483) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:28PM (#42029531)

        It will be either the 'sharks with frikkin lasers atached to their head'-jokes, or an accumulation of these people who thought that the LHC would produce micro-black-holes getting all excited about blowing something up. Turning from black hole alarmist to Death Star alarmists.
        I wonder if these people are the same as the;

          - OMG the acidic rain will render the world uninhabitable! We must do something or we are all gonna die!

        Well they said, acid rain destroys the forests. And it did. There was an significant increase in dead trees. The famous black forest became almost a no forest. So we did something about it and and now things are going to improve.

        - OMG the LHC will end the world with a man-made black hole! We must do something or we are all gonna die!

        That are definitely other people, because they did not have any proof at all. While in the previous version, trees could be counted and their health could be determined. the latter folks did not even provide a sound theory.

        - OMG they want to ship radio active waste to the moon! Think about the radiation! Think about the kids! We must do something or we are all gonna die!

        That sounds more like the first group. They calculated the risk to the ecosystem when a plutonium based reactor falls back to earth, breaks up in the atmosphere etc. However, shipping the waste to the moon or even into earth orbit is unbelievable expensive.

        - OMG you drove a car today, according to these models, that will raise the sea level three feet by next Thursday you idiot! We must do something or we are all gonna die!

        You seem to have trouble to categorize things correctly. If earth temperature rises. Or to be more precise. When we have more energy in the earth system, then that leads to more melted ice in Greenland and Antarctica. However, that will not rise the sea level today. It will affect your kids and their kids. They have to move New York or convert it into some Venice. The IPCC is definitely not an alarmist group.

        - OMG the Mayan calender is going to finish us all! We must do something or we are all gonna die!

        These guys are alarmists or even crazy. Simply because they have no proof. The only thing they have is a calendar, which ends after 6000 years. Well the world never ended when millions of calendars ended last year on December 31st. So why should that be different with that Mayan calendar. this is typical nonsense from people who have no insight into science.

        - OMG they want to teach the kids Darwinism! We must do something or we are all gonna die!

        Ah now you referring to Christian fundamentalists. As they oppose science, they fall in that alarmists group.

        - OMG the Y2K bug! We must do something or we are all gonna die!

        This was a marketing scheme (partly). However, if they had not fixed so many systems, it would have caused some trouble. But nothing serious.

        - OMG Ponies!

        Is this pony thing a dangerous event? I must have missed that. ;-)

        • Here is some positive news for you: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/08/ff_apocalypsenot/all/
          Happy reading!
          By the way, ponies ARE dangerous. The risks can be reduced greatly by feeding them with a flattened hand (not getting your keyboard-sausages in that grinder) and when you want to walk behind them take some distance so they wont kick you. I dont want to sound like an alarmist, but... well, y'know :-)
      • by Synerg1y (2169962)
        I'd like to order one of those sharks w a laser attached to it's head please.
    • You know, for this calibre of laser, it cannot be an ordinary shark...

  • by jd2112 (1535857) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:41AM (#42026605)
    And referring to it as the "Alan Parsons" project then I'm all for it.
  • by Sez Zero (586611) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:43AM (#42026627) Journal
    Which group is working on the Extreme Shark Project? And the Extreme Laser Forehead Mounting Project?

    Enquiring evil minds want to know...
  • ...with Elon Musk's statements on Ariane 5. Talk about sabotaging the competition!
  • Please don't fire a super powerful world-destroying laser into space. It is quite likely you will eventually hit something we might need someday.

    • by o'reor (581921)

      It is quite likely you will eventually hit something we might need someday.

      Or the laser beam could come around and bite us in the ass. [wikipedia.org]

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don't think we will need our ass in the future. We will have robotic bodies by then

        • by idontgno (624372)
          In that case, I sincerely hope our metal asses are shiny. So that the laser doesn't bite it.
    • Being that lasers travel at the speed of light, and we don't, we wouldn't hit anything that we could reach, really soon.

      It might make a good Star Trek episode, though. The Enterprise gets zapped by a laser fired eons ago, by a civilization that no longer exists. When the crew warps on over to take a look, they just find a bunch of peaceful Cylons, or something.

      And then the Captain gets it on with Number 6 . . .

      • by mfh (56)

        >And then the Captain gets it on with Number 6 . . .

        I like where your head is at.

    • by slashmojo (818930)

      As long as it's not a mirror..

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In more seriousness, it is rather difficult to focus such beams over astronomical distances, ultimately limited by fundamental limits due to diffraction*. Once you get past roughly one or two times the Rayleigh length, the beam will essentially be spreading in a cone and subject to inverse square losses. The Rayleigh length is basically pi*width^2/wavelength, where the width is the minimum width (making a bunch of assumptions about nice Gaussian beam for best case...). A 100 m wide beam, would pretty muc

    • by PPH (736903)

      Or just miss someone with a bigger laser and better aim.

  • Said by the scientists after they blow it up with the laser.
  • ..."Additionally, the lasers could be combined to generate a super laser that would shoot into space, similar to the combined laser effect of the Death Star in the Star Wars trilogy, though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets."

    Uh, you sure about that last part?

    I guess you didn't get the memo that General D. Vader will be taking Petraus' spot. I hear he was practically a shoo-in for the job, and he's got some blueprints with him...

    There was also the matter of a rather sizable order of shark helmets ordered from someone named D.R. Evil...not sure what that's all about, but the purchase request oddly came out of the same budget...

    • I guess you didn't get the memo that General D. Vader will be taking Petraus' spot.

      While it adds nothing to the topic, I have to use this opportunity to mention that there's an office in my building with a nameplate outside it "D. Maul". Turns out to be an excessively tall scary looking woman with what amounts to a slightly outgrown crew-cut.

  • by rossdee (243626)

    ". Additionally, the lasers could be combined to generate a super laser that would shoot into space, similar to the combined laser effect of the Death Star in the Star Wars trilogy, though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets.""

    Don't reporters realize that Star Wars is fiction, only loosely based on science.
    To vaporize a planet would take more than the power output of (a star like) the sun.
    And shooting a big laser into space from the surface of the earth would be complicated by th

  • "...though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets."
    *wink* *wink*
    Ah yes, I hear you loud & clear scientists. You want to "study" "particles" in "space".
    Just try not to leave the moon in too many pieces while you're studying it...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Do we really need a Star Wars analogy to become interested in this project? Shouldn't the fact that this will be the most powerful laser in the world be reason enough for people to take note?

    This is equivalent some guy telling his buddy "I'm going to buy a new car, it's like a M-50 Tank crossed with a red Italian supercar, except it's really a Ford Escape with the 1.6 liter engine option."

  • [Imperial commando]:" this is the cover story:"Additionally, the lasers could be combined to generate a super laser that would shoot into space, similar to the combined laser effect of the Death Star in the Star Wars trilogy, though the goal is to study particles in space, not annihilate planets.""
  • by Jawnn (445279) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:49PM (#42029793)
    ...can it make popcorn?
  • when are they gonna mount it on a frigin shark's friggin head?

  • Gonna need a bigger shark.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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