Anti-Laser. There is so much promise in those words, such fodder for the imagination. One likens it to anti-matter, rife with the prospect of mass destruction should it come in contact with one single atom of ordinary matter.
The truth of the matter is, though, that the anti-laser both lives up to that comparison completely and yet fails to as well. With the anti-laser, two beams enter. Nothing leaves.
The anti-laser is a contraption that absorbs and extinguishes specific wavelengths of light, and has potential uses all over the place; one particularly geeky use is in photonic computing, computers that shuffle photons around with lasers instead of relying on that ancient electron science that is SO 20th century. The anti-laser could be used to create fast optical switches for such computers of the future.
There are plenty of other applications for the technology, most of which probably haven’t even been thought of yet. Medical researchers have come up with some ideas for it as well, such as in tumor imaging.
So far I’ve seen no speculation on the anti-laser’s use in warfare; no thoughts of stopping beams from laser guns or any such thing. But this is a brand new technology, so who knows? This is a rare case where the future looking less bright is actually a GOOD thing.
(via Ars Technica)