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Lasers for Fun and Profit 121

Posted by michael
from the all-we-need-is-some-sharks dept.
Stuart of Wapping writes "This is a very interesting site, links to pages describing real-life, tried-and-tested Star-Trek/James Bond gadgets... The Laser Medical Pen, or Medpen, developed in-house by the Laser Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate, is a second-generation device that provides a physician or paramedic with a unique, compact, portable, and battery-operated laser capability. The laser can cut like a scalpel as well as coagulate bleeding."
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Lasers for Fun and Profit

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  • Dilberted? (Score:5, Funny)

    by C0LDFusion (541865) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:03PM (#4051901) Journal
    I remember Scott Adams mentioning something like this in "The Dilbert Future", and why it wouldn't go mainstream, because people would buy them from medical supply stores. And then just imagine them in the hands of your friends. Go to sleep and have your asscrack sealed.
  • Laser Tag? (Score:4, Funny)

    by reezle (239894) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:03PM (#4051902) Homepage

    Wow, I thought laser pointers in traffic were bad.
    This'll bring it to a whole new level.
  • Interesting... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Twintop (579924) <david@twintop-tahoe.com> on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:03PM (#4051904) Homepage Journal
    This is just another example of how real life follows in the footsteps of science fiction: impossible things 30 years ago being made possible in similar ways that they were 'being done' in sci-fi stuffs. It never ceases to amaze me how writers with far-fetched ideas can be on the money so often, even though they are way ahead of their time.
    • Re:Interesting... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by ThePyromaniak (561029)
      Thats soooo true but those corny 60's SCI-FI movies said that we would have flying cars and such by the year 2000...here it is 2002 and we havent even developed a decent personal interplanetary travel capsule....maybe science fiction writers overestimated us
      • True, they were wrong about some things in one direction (no flying cars) but wrong about some things in the other direction - tiny computers, with like, screens, instead of a big row of colored lights. =)
        • Young Frink: Well, sure, the Frinkiac-7 looks impressive [to student] Don't touch it! [back to class] But I predict that within 100 years computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings in Europe will own them.
    • Not Really (Score:4, Insightful)

      by narftrek (549077) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @07:21PM (#4052086)
      Actually I think most of the things we have today are because of the ideas in books/movies/etc. Not becuase some writer "predicted" it but because some reader thought "man it would be cool to have one of those communicator thingys" and so he made one. I doubt most writers are ahead of thier time but they have damn good ideas which us ubergeeks latch on to and make a reality. Mark my words, one day some geek will beat his brains out until warp engines are cruising ships around the galaxy not because Gene Roddenberry had some kinda vision of the future but because his idea seemed like it made some sense and sparked the brain of a few fans.
    • Actually... (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      A lot of things that the general public first saw in sci-fi stories were already being discussed in the scientific community. The science fiction writers were often in contact with scientists (as friends, sometimes coworkers and in other relationships), and were inspired by what the scientists were already discussing.
  • by MiTEG (234467) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:04PM (#4051913) Homepage Journal
    What intrigued me was the information about high power microwaves [af.mil]. It says

    "High Power Microwave produces burnout and disruption in electronics while not affecting humans."

    Yes, I realize that anything within a range of the spectrum around 2.4Ghz is considered microwave (cell phone, cordless phones, 802.11, etc.) but isn't the only reason they don't hurt people because they are relatively low power? I imagine if you pump enough power into one of those things it could start to make you boil.

    Anyway, I'd hate to be one of the test subjects used in determining whether or not this actually does cause damage.
    • Not exactly. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mindstrm (20013)
      Microwave is generally everying above 1Ghz up to near visible light.

      Microwave ovens operate at around 2.4Ghz usually... the reason they can heat up water is due to the frequency itself, and it's ability to cause water molecules to move around in the field. It's not, as some say, because it's the resonant frequency of a water molecule.

      Microwave at higher frequencies could even be harmless.. depending.. the reason it screws up electronics is because of the photoelectric effect.. the microwaves end up creating lots of electric currents that burn out the equipment.

      It's quite concievable that this would work yet be generally harmless to a human.

      • Re:Not exactly. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Medevo (526922)
        the reason they can heat up water is due to the frequency itself, and it's ability to cause water molecules to move around in the field. It's not, as some say, because it's the resonant frequency of a water molecule.


        Wouldnt this mean that we could also make a large microwave, and use it as some sort of weapon (not realy).

        Also do the home microwaves use a very specific frequency?, or else photoelectric effect could short circit the hearts electric timing system.

        Medevo
        • Wouldnt this mean that we could also make a large microwave, and use it as some sort of weapon (not realy).
          You don't need a "large" microwave for that. The magnetron in a typical microwave oven is more than enough to cook someone, or so I'm told. Since the magnetron emits a coherent microwave beam, you can aim it at someone's head for maximum effect.
          • Wouldnt this mean that we could also make a large microwave, and use it as some sort of weapon (not really).

            You don't need a "large" microwave for that. The magnetron in a typical microwave oven is more than enough to cook someone, or so I'm told. Since the magnetron emits a coherent microwave beam, you can aim it at someone's head for maximum effect.

            I think FUTURAMA already demonstrated that when Leela went on a killing spree in the "What If..." episode "ANTHOLOGY OF INTEREST I" when she wanted to find out "what it would be like if I were more impulsive"?

            Leela smashed a hole in the microwave oven door, turned it on and killed Bender.

            I would assume there SHOULD be some safety circuits to prevent such a method for creating a portable killing machine (by using a huge battery backpack and a power inverter or just plugging it into the car's power outlet while driving). However, given the corners cut in corporate profit motives, I suspect there may be MICROWAVE TOTING MURDERERS walking the streets right now.

            Seriously though, there wouldn't be too much effort to turn a Microwave oven into a DEATH TOY with a bit of physical hacking of the case, electronics, shielding, & coming up with a really portable power supply.
      • the reason they can heat up water is due to the frequency itself, and it's ability to cause water molecules to move around in the field. It's not, as some say, because it's the resonant frequency of a water molecule.



        Nearly correct, but a bit incomplete. It is because of the frequency of the microwave photon. The energy level of a microwave photon happens to correspond to the gap in energy levels between the ground quantum state of a water molecule and higher "excited" quantum states. The microwave photon collides with the water molecule. The water molecule absorbs the energy of the photon, causing it to "jump" to a higher energy level. Once enough of these photons are absorbed by enough water molecules, the average kinetic energy of the entire group of water molecules is raised, which in turn raises the temperature.

        • Dragging Quantum levels in here is just a red herring or grandstanding. Of course the engergy and frequency of a photon is related by quantum levels; even the kinetic energy being converted as heat must be absorbed and dumped in quantum units, but that's irrelevant to the question at hand. The poster who said frequency was irrelevant was basically correct, there is no resonance involved; that was the key point.

          (For other things like cellphones, the ratio of wavelength to body-part size could be critical to efficiency of heating, so frequency can be critical, and is so frequently.)

          "FAQs About Water and Steam" (The International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam)
          "Sometimes you may hear that the microwaves are interacting with a resonant frequency of the water molecule (like a radio gets tuned to a frequency), but that is actually not the case. Anything with a dipole moment will absorb microwave radiation, so microwave ovens will also heat fats and sugars, for example. "
          FAQ [iapws.org] or cache [216.239.33.100]
          Has link to How Microwaves works sites with more links.

          The wavelength of the microwaves needs to be comparable to the size of the object which then gets an induced alternating electrical field. That alternating field drives the molecules as little syncronous induction-motor rotors. Heat being just molecular kinetic energy, it is felt as, and cooks, as, any other heat source, but inside-out.

          . It is because of the frequency of the microwave photon.

          NO! If you check standard texts, you will find that microwave oven performance is largely insensitive to variation in frequency, and indeed may vary within the ISM band. Domestic microwave ovens are at about 2.5GHz in the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) Band out of historical coincidence (existing allocation, existing equipment) only. Note that has a wavelength of 12cm, a bit long for a molecular resonance. This is very close to the 2.4G part-15 data and part-97 ham bands. The water and water-vapor absorption is quite weak, being on the flank of the 22GHz weak resonance. Any competent microwave design book, whether for data, radio-astronomy, or diathermy, will have the tables and charts. See for example,

          "resonance lines of water [are] at 22 GHz and a very very strong line at 183 GHz. "

          CEOS [ceos.cnes.fr] or cache [216.239.51.100]

          You can see in the diagram there that absorption does decrease from 1G to 2.5G, it's nothing like a resonance, it's considered an edge of the low "window". In the 10GHz range, we consider clouds to be lenses not opaque absorbers, and that's higher up that peak's flank.

          Under the terms of my ARS radio license, I know I have to abide by federal human/radio safety standards (which will prevent me from anywhere near our full authorized power on 2.4G any time soon! Just thinking about 5W on 10G with feed and dish gain is enough to worry about.). The scarier thing is those who don't know about them are supposed to too.

          The Federal standard for human / radio absorption safety is available from FCC OET RF Safety Home page [fcc.gov] ; their Consumer Facts watered down version is Human Exposure To Radio Frequency Fields Federal Communications Commission [fcc.gov]

          73 de radio n1vux

      • You do know that humans are 70+% water, don't you?
    • We think of microwaves in terms of microwave ovens. These operate on an EXACT frequecy just below 2.4 GHz that is the precise resonance frequency of water molecules. This makes things boil from the inside, and we tend to generalize this to all microwave behavior.

      Microwaves that are NOT at that magical resonance frequency just cause simple tissue heating effects, like a strong RF transmitter. At least until you get upwards in frequency toward gamma and x-rays where the energy becomes known as "ionizing radiation".

      At that point, the energy can knock around the nucleotides that make up DNA and cause mutations, cancer, etc. (a Bad Thing).

      • As another poster commented, the microwave oven frequency isn't tuned to a resonance frequency of water molecules at all. The absorption of microwaves by the interaction of the water molecule's electric dipole with the field of the microwave works over a very wide range of frequencies. You wouldn't *want* a strong resonance - you don't want the microwaves to be all absorbed by the outside of the food after all, and the frequency used is definitely not a resonance.

        This seems to be one of those persistant myths...
        • by DarkMan (32280)
          I think that the reason that it's misunderstood is because there's that half degree of true it.

          There _is_ a resonance, and thus at frequencies near that, water absorbs stronger than other materials. If memory serves me correctly, the resonance is at around 1.4 GHz (although my mental arithmatic might be out) for the H-O-H bend. At the 2.4 GHz then, it's not having much of an effect, compared to a resonant system. But there is an increase in it's absorbtion cross section, due to that.

          Were it not for the resonance, then it wouldn't be principly water that did the absorbing, and the penetration depth in a microwave would be much greater.

          IIRC the 2.4 GHz was picked because the ways to generate microwaves are pretty efficent at that frequency, and the energy dispertion inside water is 3Db per inch or so.
      • From the www.repairfaq.org Microwave Oven Repair FAQ:

        What is significant about 2.45 GHz? Not that much. Water molecules are not resonant at this frequency. A wide range of frequencies will work to heat water efficiently. 2.45 GHz was probably chosen for a number of other reasons including not interfering with existing EM spectrum assignments and convenience in implementation. In addition, the wavelength (about 5 inches) results in reasonable penetration of the microwave energy into the food. The 3 dB (half power) point is about 1 inch for liquid water - half the power is absorbed in the outer 1 inch of depth, another 1/4 of the power in the next inch, and so forth.
      • Everyone knows a timelord selected the 2.4GHz frequency to save us from x10.com. (Like duh man!)
        The timelord went back in time and changed the oven frequency in order to save us!
        He knew after 2001, radiation leaks from microwave ovens would interfere with x10 videocameras! x10 Camera Frequency [x10.com].
        Even though 2.4GHz would also interfere with 802.11b, etc. [wave-report.com], stopping x10 was more important!
        Future proliferation of x10 videocameras had to be stopped since the easy to use cameras only encouraged viewing nudity and thus would harm more of "the children".
        Politicaly correcting history required any spectrum be sacrificed!

        Besides, it really was the only way to stop the x10 pop-under ads!
    • My brother-in-law worked a Hawk antiaircraft missile battery for the US Marines. He had stories about using the radar to knock seagulls out of the sky. They'd basically cook from the inside out, and be dead before they hit the ground.

      He had stories from other marines who had tried the same trick on humans with similar results.
  • Suitcase laser (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hedley (8715) <hedley@pacbell.net> on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:07PM (#4051917) Journal
    I used to work at a laser lab and we had a suitcase laser. Looked like a photographers case, brushed aluminum, plug it in, and out from the corner came a beam of Alexandrite produced photons (Alexandrite is a vibronic and can be tuned to lase at many different frequencies). This suitcase was shopped around the military quite a bit, that same lab used to buy meat from the grocery store and cut it with the lasers to test surgical properties. Most dangerous place I ever worked, coding with green goggles on, possible instant blindness, 20kv shocks whilst standing in water from leaking cooling pumps! I even got my belt burned like a high school ticker tape experiment, an ND (neutral density) filter exploded because the energy from the beam was so powerful, my boss knocked the hamamatsu(sp?) energy meter out of the way, and I was behind it at belt level, two burns close together in the leather belt and one further away as I tried to escape :)

    Hedley
  • by Valar (167606)
    Air Force Research Laboratory's Directed Energy Directorate
    I believe that is under the Department of Redundancy Department.
    • That's the Directed Energy Directorate. Undirected energy R&D is handled by the Energetic Materials Branch [af.mil] of the Air Force Research Laboratory, which develops conventional bombs.
    • Maybe it would be clearer if it were "Directed-Energy Directorate". It is a directorate that deals with directed-energy devices.

      Directed energy is energy which is directed to go in some particular direction -- that is, energy which is aimed at some target. This is as opposed to undirected energy, which flows forth in all directions, like a bomb.

      Note that bombs with shaped charges, such as the one used to blast a hole into the hull of the USS Cole, are also a sort of directed energy, though I don't know if the Directed Energy Directorate handles that sort of thing. A shaped charge is an explosive charge whose explosive force goes mostly in one particular direction, rather than in all directions as with a conventional bomb. Shaped charges have been used at least since World War II in anti-tank weapons, though many modern tanks are equipped with a type of armor that is highly resistant -- if not impervious -- to shaped charges. Details of how this armor works is highly classified for obvious reasons.

  • The COIL [Chemical Oxygen Iodine Laser] utilizes industrial strength household chemicals to produce its power.

    Household chemicals? Ooo... so if I mix some ammonia, iodized salt, water, and ketchup, I'll have one of these? I bet my neighbors will quit making noise at 3 in the morning when they know I've got this!

  • Oh oh! (Score:1, Redundant)

    by Quasar1999 (520073)
    Brings new meaning to the warning on laser pointers... Don't look directly at the beam...

    OUCH!
  • Allow me to quote someone from this very site:

    --start--
    Hit in the ass by a laser
    Livin' it up when I'm goin' down
    Hit in the ass by a laser
    Lovin' it up 'til I hit the ground
    -Wadetemp
    ---end---
  • Coagulate? (Score:3, Informative)

    by BitHive (578094) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:18PM (#4051940) Homepage
    "The laser can cut like a scalpel as well as coagulate bleeding."

    Do you mean it cauterizes the wound? That is when intense heat stops bleeding. Coagulation is when the platelets aggregate to form clots. I doubt the laser is doing this.

    • Your right, all star wars nerds know lasers cauterizes the wound to stop the bleeding:)
    • No, the original poster got it right.

      When we use surgical lasers, we tend use a more narrow-spectrum green beam to coagulate (I've most often used argon) -- the green light is better tuned to the absorption properties of hemoglobin (and thus a greater amount of the energy is absorbed by the blood).

      The cutting beams we use can be at a different wavelength, and they also tend to have a tighter focus and will have a longer pulse (even continuous)...The tighter focus and longer pulse are all better for cutting. With something like tattoo removal, or other superficial uses, you'll tend to use a less focused beam.
  • by swordboy (472941) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:18PM (#4051942) Journal
    First page of the instruction manual that comes with a laser:

    CAUTION: DO NOT LOOK INTO LASER WITH REMAINING EYE!
  • Yea but,,, (Score:5, Funny)

    by FreeLinux (555387) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:20PM (#4051951)
    All that money. All that research. All those lasers.

    And yet the one thing I ask for is still missing. That's right. I want some sharks with frickin lasers attached to their heads.

    Throw me a bone here, people.

  • by Bo'Bob'O (95398) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:22PM (#4051955)
    Laser Medical Pen is 12 inches long, less than 1-inch in diameter, and weighs a mere pound.
  • And the paramedics don't have these WHY? 2nd attempt. Slashdot doesn't think I can formulate a though and type it out within 20 seconds.
    • Re:Ambulances (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I'm guessing that ambulance workers are already capable of cutting people with regular scalpels - maybe in the future these devices will prove to be faster and more efficient or something and can be taken up by emergency staff, but when it comes to saving lives, you don't want to try and equip your medics with the 'latest crazy gadgets'.

      Just my guess, anyway.
    • While the concept sounds cool this isn't really useful in the field for emergency care. Disposable electrical cauteries that do exactly the same thing have been around for years. Very rarely does someone die from external bleeding that could be cauterized. Those types of wounds can usually be controlled easily with direct pressure, pressure points, etc. What kills people is pulmonary injuries, internal bleeding and/or neurological injuries. If you get shot or stabbed, closing the entrance/exit wounds with cauterization does very little for you. All the serious damage is on the inside and the only answer is being taken to the O.R. This is particually true of gun shot wounds as the shockwave around the bullet cavitates the tissue around its path through the body doing massive damage, of course relative to the size and more so velocity KE=1/2 m * v^2.
  • When confronted with the rumors of an Active Denial Technology being developed; government officials claimed that this was only a rumor. They also said that the government do not intend to pursue such a technology. Other sources within DARPA and the Department of Defence says that this is not true and that several government institutions are actively using it today.
  • I've got one (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Mister Transistor (259842) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @06:27PM (#4051973) Journal
    Everyone should have a Death Ray.

    Especially a battery operated, portable Death Ray!

    I just picked up a 3 Watt laser diode at a Hamfest recently. It's whats at the core of the med-pack and portable med-pens displayed. This thing is really fucking cool. It will make paper and wire insulation, plastic, etc. burst into flame from about 1/4 inch away.

    The diode is made by Spectra Diode Labs (SDL) and channels 3 Watts of optical energy at 808 nanometers into a fiber optic. I have that clamped into a standard mechanical pencil to hold the fiber and allow it to be directed with some control.

    The spot that appears is very scary because it appears weak red, about 5 mW of visible light energy is present but 98 % of the optical power is invisible in the infrared spectrum.

    I haven't tried any home laser surgery yet, but it makes a dandy wire stripper or marking scribe. I also use it to open sealed ni-cad battery packs and change cells for walkie-talkies, etc.

    Yep, Everyone should have a Death Ray!

    • Re:I've got one (Score:2, Interesting)

      by peatbakke (52079)
      Sounds like you've got an Nd:LSB laser. If you want to see something cool, track down a suitably sized potassium titanyl phosphate (KPT) crystal. It doubles the frequency, turning that faint red to a brilliant green. I'm not sure what the efficiency loss is, but it's a neat trick.

      • Re:I've got one (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Mister Transistor (259842) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @08:00PM (#4052199) Journal
        Actually it's a single diode putting out 3W at 808 nm. They currently sell for around $400.00 (US).

        I've got it mounted to the outside of a dual D-Cell battery holder clip (from Radio Shack, of all places!) with a small power switch and a current limiting resistor in series.

        These are used as printer's plate thermal developing units in larger arrays.

        These are also used as pumps for DPSS (Diode Pumped Solid State) lasers. I've got a nice chunk of KTP used to double 1064nm down to 532 (green), but I need to find a large piece of Nd:YVO (Vanadate) which transforms the 808 up to 1064nm.
        This is how most of the green laser pointers work, they have a diode similar but smaller, putting out about 100-500mW at 808 nm and using similar crystals to transform the frequency to 532 nm.

        • Re:I've got one (Score:2, Interesting)

          by peatbakke (52079)
          hah. well, that's what I get for reading your post too quickly. i've been using 808nm diodes to pump Nd:LSB, and for some reason I assumed you were pumping Nd:LSB/YVO. duh, me.

          See if you can get your hands on Nd:LSB. It's a bit more expensive than YVO, but it's got a *much* higher saturation intensity, and more efficient absorption of 808nm as well ... not that you really have to worry about that sort of thing when you're playing around with a 3W laser. Most of the applications I've seen with LSB are for compact, low powered situations ...

        • you can probably double the power with a nicol prism and two of those thingies.
          coherent optics r00l.
    • How do you keep the thing cool? I have seen 10mw semiconductor lasers with some serious cooling in the form of a big heatsink. I understand the normal medical lasers have an assembly carrying power and cooling to link it back to a power unit.
      • Actually, I was amazed that the thing barely gets hot at all. It consumes a full 5A at 3V, so it is taking in 15W and putting 3 of that out in light, so it's actually only dissipating about 12W or so of heat.

        The diode package is a small 1/2" dia. gold can embedded in a slab of beryllium copper(?). I have the thing screwed directly into the positive
        battery terminal on the battery clip holder.

        During operation, I tend to use short bursts, and after about 10-15 minutes of blowing things up it just starts getting warm. Continuously, it would probably heat to dangerous temps within 1-2 minutes. A simple CPU cooling fan/heatsink combo would be more than adequate for continuous operation, which the diode _was_ designed for.
        • This seems quite efficient at 20%. Maybe it is a more a problem with true visible light lasers which tend to be less efficient. I guess the bulk of the battery helps also to dissipate the temperature a little but I'm still impressed.

          The problem with a CPU heatsink/cooling fan is that it would make the thing a little unwieldy for hand-held aiming.

    • Everyone should have a Death Ray.

      Especially a battery operated, portable Death Ray!

      I just picked up a 3 Watt laser diode at a Hamfest recently. It's whats at the core of the med-pack and portable med-pens displayed. This thing is really fucking cool. It will make paper and wire insulation, plastic, etc. burst into flame from about 1/4 inch away.

      The diode is made by Spectra Diode Labs (SDL) and channels 3 Watts of optical energy at 808 nanometers into a fiber optic. I have that clamped into a standard mechanical pencil to hold the fiber and allow it to be directed with some control.

      The spot that appears is very scary because it appears weak red, about 5 mW of visible light energy is present but 98 % of the optical power is invisible in the infrared spectrum.

      I haven't tried any home laser surgery yet, but it makes a dandy wire stripper or marking scribe. I also use it to open sealed ni-cad battery packs and change cells for walkie-talkies, etc.

      Yep, Everyone should have a Death Ray!


      Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy (or scavange) the laser diode from a CD Burner, tack on a power supply and burn away?
      • When you "burn" a CD-R, you are just heating up an organic dye and making it change color (go clear).
        This happens with about 20-30mW of laser power, about 1/100th the power of the laser i'm talking about. If you focus the laser down to a pinpoint, lasers in that class will _enventually_ heat things like dark paper, black plastic enough to just start to burn. It takes 30 secs or so to start things on fire at that power level... 3W makes em burst into flame instantly!!

  • COIL lasers are bad. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    They give off nasty gasses when they operate, HELLO EPA and if one of those planes that carries them crashes there is a 2 mile radius kill zone from the chemicals. Yea, it doesn't tell you that on the website.

    The laser pen is cool though.
  • Is it just me or does this laser [af.mil] laser resemble something out of Real Genius? [imdb.com] Now all we need is a giant Jiffy-Pop package and a mean ol' professor...
  • I'm waiting for the typical reaction to the list of technologies on that site. The thing that will raise the ire of /.ers most is the Active Denial Technology [af.mil], which they will argue is inhumane, cruel, tool of the imperialist hegemony, blah blah, and so on. The paradox is, this is a non lethal device that causes no permanent damage. The slashbots will go all ga-ga fantasizing about airborne free electron lasers and tabletop or backpack tank-melting ray-guns (Just like in sci-fi and comic books!!!), but heaven forbid the evil military industrial complex research non lethal weapons....

    Bury this post and watch to see if my prediction comes true....

    • I don't have a problem with a non-lethal weapon that causes temporary pain without permanent damage to its targets. I think it's vastly preferable to the alternatives.
      I do, however, think it's unethical to test such a weapon on animals, especially when they have human volunteers for the project.
    • Perhaps the problem is that it's only non-lethal if you turn it off within a few seconds. Yep, it's in there. It says the beam would only have to be on a few seconds. Just like touching a hot lightbulb, if you keep applying the energy, it will burn. The intent is that the beam would just be flashed on and off, causing pain but no damage. The beam could presumably be left on as long as one wished, vaporizing (ok maybe just badly burning) the assailants.
      • The point of the original poster was that, even if the beam is left on and the assailants are severely injured as a result, that's no worse than the current common practice of drowning them in a hail of hot lead, which also causes rather severe injuries.
  • by johnlcallaway (165670) on Sunday August 11, 2002 @07:21PM (#4052085)
    ... for the site here [af.mil]? It reads:
    Official U.S. government system for authorized use only. Do not discuss, enter, transfer, process or transmit classified, sensitive national security information of greater sensitivity than that for which this system is authorized. Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring. Unauthorized use could result in criminal prosecution. Unclassified, non-senstive, non-privacy act use only.
    Where are the privacy advocates when you really need them??? The were all whining yesterday about toll system monitoring [slashdot.org], yet just by clicking a slashdot link we consent to monitoring.

    You people are just not doing your jobs and will have to be fragged.
  • Hope it's packaged differently then the typical penlight that the doc keeps in his pocket for checking the pupil response of your eye. Imagine him/her making a mistake by grabbing the wrong one out of his shirt pocket and shining it into your eye. "Oooops".

  • Actually, Adams wrote about the star trek device for sealing open wounds :)
  • For some reason I can't connect to this website. Any chance someone could give me the IP address so I can view the website?

    Unless it's been /.'ed

    Thanks.
  • [...] a unique, compact, portable, and battery-operated laser capability. The laser can cut like a scalpel as well as coagulate bleeding.
    Great. This means that every time I board an airplane with my normal laser pointer, the security thugs are going to need to see it operating to make sure it's not one of the dangerous kind.

    And ya know what, they aren't doing that already. One more thing to slow us down. And just how do you see a laser scalpel from a normal metal ball-point pen on the X-ray?

    1. Lasers
    2. Fun
    3. ???
    4. Profit
  • Regarding the laser "pen" device:

    How many of you have read the "reports" regarding supposed cattle mutilations coupled with UFOs, and how the incisions/cuts on the carcesses seem to be made with surgical precision, but no loss of blood at the incision (ie, the cuts seem to have been cauterized)?

    I know there is at least one account I have read of that described the "aliens" seen using a laser like device, about one foot long...

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