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The Cheese Slicing Laser 337

purduephotog writes "Xiaochun Li of The University of Wisconsin-Madison has come up with the ultimate gift for those high-tech wine and cheese connoisseurs: A cheese slicing laser. More detailed information is available at Optics.Org."
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The Cheese Slicing Laser

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  • Interesting Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ReTay ( 164994 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @11:53AM (#7962898)
    But for home use?
    Not going to happen in the us at least.
    The legal ramifications and potential misuse will make it unlikely (as cool as it would be)
    to ever to be offered to consumers.
  • by The_Systech ( 568093 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @11:54AM (#7962908) Homepage
    Man, this would have been great back a few years ago when I was working at a plant that packaged natural cheese. The most automated process we had was using pnuematic cylindars to push a 40# block of Cheddar through a frame with criss-crossed stainless steel wires. I can just imagine how much closer we could have hit the weight tolerances using lasers... Plus you don't have to stop and clean a laser beam every once in a while..
  • This is really cool. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Omegaunit ( 672138 ) <`ten.tsacmoc' `ta' `eiruoc.nhoj'> on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @11:57AM (#7962955) Homepage
    I have a cheese slicer that is one the old wire kind and its a bitch to keep clean. Those old chees slicers are a health risk to a certain extent because there is always trace slivers of cheese embedded in the wood and along the pivot joint for the slice wire. Of course the component isnt dishwasher safe and the parts where the cheese sticks are too small for even one of those green scrubbies. so I say BRAVO LASER CHEESE SLICER INVENTOR PERSON!
  • Safety? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marshac ( 580242 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:03PM (#7963006) Homepage
    Li tried again using a new class of laser that emits light in ultraviolet, and therefore shorter, wavelengths. That laser, known as a cold laser, cuts by blasting apart the molecular bonds that hold materials together.

    By breaking molecular bonds in the cheese, wouldn't that alter the chemistry of the cheese where it had been cut? Could this inadvertently produce carcinogenic compounds (like when you burn meat)?
  • Re:Cold Laser (Score:4, Interesting)

    by CrankyFool ( 680025 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:06PM (#7963044)
    Terminally incapable of detecting a joke, CrankyFool replied ...

    What you're looking for is a 'twistup corkscrew,' or the 'ah-so cork puller.' See here [] for a good picture. It doesn't damage the cork at all, and it's a very good idea for wines with older corks. It takes a bit of practice to do right, but I only screwed up one cork (pushed it in rather than pulling it out) before getting it. The other advantages include the fact it's one of the smallest corkscrews (if we redefine corkscrew to be "things you can open wine with") you could carry and the fact it's cheap. They sell for $3-$4 around here, and everything here (SF Bay) is expensive.

  • by AmericaHater ( 732718 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:07PM (#7963059) Journal
    A cheese slicing laser is all very well but what America hating linux using pinko drug smuggling pedo terrorists like me need is a cutting laser in a watch.

    I mean for fuck sakes geeks! How many Bond movies do you need to watch to get a hint that there is a market demand? I've totally lost count of the times the DEA MI5 or FSB have had me manacled to a post kicking the fuck out of me and I'm thinking like "shit ... if only I could use my Rolex to slice off these handcuffs I beat you round this cell motherfucker"

    So they do invent it and whats it used for 'CHEESE'!!. For fuck sake - I'm going to hunt the inventor down and whack him - the stupid fuck.

  • by AFirmGraspOfReality ( 689182 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:11PM (#7963104)
    Cool as this might be, it's the wrong tool for the job. Waterjets are waaaaay better for things like this. Faster and no smell. Have a look at:
  • Re:Interesting Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SurgeonGeneral ( 212572 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:18PM (#7963187) Journal
    "But for home use?
    Not going to happen in the us at least.
    The legal ramifications and potential misuse will make it unlikely (as cool as it would be)"

    I can easily acquire a tec-9 semi automatic machine gun [] and bullets for it can be bought from Wal-mart, but somehow you think a laser that cuts through cheese will be banned from consumers?

    And isnt that "someone-might-do-something-bad-with-it" argument the same one we frown upon which the RIAA/MPAA uses to outlaw threatening hardware?

    Get real.
  • by AFirmGraspOfReality ( 689182 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:20PM (#7963209)
    No mush. I've seen waterjets cut a fresh doughnut into 5 concentric rings. Perfect, clean cut. The water jet itself is very,very fine. Extremely high-pressure waterjets can cut through steel as well as cheese.
  • French Fries (Score:4, Interesting)

    by IceFox ( 18179 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:28PM (#7963289) Homepage
    This is already being done to french fries to make sure that they arn't too long. They pass down a belt and a laser will cut them if they are too long. I guess McDonalds etc have all sorts of specs about what size the french fries need to come in. A quick google should be able to find these for they have been around for a while. They were even mentioned on the TLC show Modern Marvels (along with fun slow mo video).

    -Benjamin Meyer
  • by Libertarian_Geek ( 691416 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @12:38PM (#7963423)
    With an XY table (as mentioned), Camera, Some custom software, perhaps, you could reduce fat content in steaks by using the laser to break down the fat. Trim the steak on the edge and reduce the marbling and reduce the fat. Enter the reduction in %, and the laser does the work. Weigh the drippings to veryify the reduction. Though I like a well marbled ribeye, with this system, you may be able to make a steak more consistant.
  • Another invention (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sokk ( 691010 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @01:24PM (#7963899)
    The "ostehovel" as we call it here in norway is much cooler ;P

    Image of the ostehovel []. It's a norwegian invention too.

    Seriously, we use it almost every day to put cheese on our bread.
  • by blugu64 ( 633729 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @05:23PM (#7966244) Homepage
    I'd be more intrested in a laser lawn mower. Less Noise, less weight to push around, etc. and I imagine that if you had a flat enough lawn you could mount it on a track on the side of the lawn, so all you'd have to do is push a button.
  • Re:Interesting Idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zakezuke ( 229119 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @05:39PM (#7966444)
    Exactly.... Remember the cardboard signs that you can put in your windshield to keep out some of the sun during the summer? There is a reason that in big letters on the back it says DO NOT DRIVE WITH SHADE IN PLACE!!!!

    1. unwrap toothpick
    2. insert between teeth
    3. dislodge food --actual toothpick instructions from the local chineese resturant

    "any civilisation that had so far lost it's head as to need to include a set of detailed instructions for use in a packet of toothpicks, was no longer a civilisation in which I could live and stay sane." -- Douglas Adams "So Long and Thanks For All The Fish"

  • by sessyargc ( 202542 ) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @07:35PM (#7967764) Homepage Journal
    if any of you guys watch "Japan Today" (its a series of Japan informational tapes aired here in the Philippines) circa 2003 the Japanese has already created a similar laser though i dont know exactly when. but i think Japan beat them to it.

    the laser was designed to be used in the food processing industry to peel potatoes, apples, etc. it was also able to write letters (in this case it was the word "END") on an apple. the peeled fruit does not feel hot to touch after going to through the laser. and the actual machine is the size of a CNC machine.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!