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Can A Laser Control Weather? Scientists Have Found A Way

Having a laser control weather sounds like something out of a movie, but it is a very real possibility now that scientists discovered a way to have the strength of a laser be strong enough to reach the clouds and control the weather.

Can A Laser Control Weather? Scientists Have Found A Way

Can A Laser Control Weather? Scientists Have Found A WayThe laser will be able to make rain happen on demand and control lightening bolts.  It does this through a short intensive laser pulse that produces plasma.  The plasma interacts with charged particles in a storm and makes it possible to interact with the storm.

Scientists have known this was possible, but getting the laser to the cloud was always a problem.  The beam was weak and could easily be intercepted.  So scientists at University of Arizona and the University of Central Florida figured out a way to make the beam strong enough so it can make it to the clouds.  By using a second beam to power the beam intended for the cloud.  The second beam is a lower intensity but it allows the higher intensity beam to extend from a few centimeters to a few meters.

The US Department of Defense funded the research for about $75 million because the laser has the ability to  do more than alter the weather.  It can also be used for analyzing chemical compounds from a far distance or channeling microwaves.

Can A Laser Control Weather? Scientists Have Found A Way

The study’s abstract explains:

Plasma channels produced in air through femtosecond laser filamentation1234 hold great promise for a number of applications, including remote sensing5, attosecond physics67 and spectroscopy8, channelling microwaves9101112 and lightning protection13. In such settings, extended filaments are desirable, yet their longitudinal span is limited by dissipative processes. Although various techniques aiming to prolong this process have been explored, the substantial extension of optical filaments remains a challenge1415161718192021. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that the natural range of a plasma column can be enhanced by at least an order of magnitude when the filament is prudently accompanied by an auxiliary beam. In this arrangement, the secondary low-intensity ‘dressing’ beam propagates linearly and acts as a distributed energy reservoir22, continuously refuelling the optical filament. Our approach offers an efficient and viable route towards the generation of extended light strings in air without inducing premature wave collapse or an undesirable beam break-up into multiple filaments2.

When exactly the beam will be used to control the weather is still unknown, but the implications now that the laser can reach long distances brings into question what more can be done with the laser besides controlling the weather.

Can A Laser Control Weather? Scientists Have Found A Way

 

 

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