When people think about lasers, they may associate them with manufacturing, or even the weaponry used by bad guys in films. However, there is a lot more that they can do.
Invented in the 1960s, a large amount of time has been spent refining how this type of technology works, making it incredibly versatile.
From the average to the jaw dropping, this blog will look at just some of the ways lasers have changed how the world works.
Better Internet Access
The internet has become a valuable asset for the majority of people. It can be used for leisure, banking and work, and it’s no surprise that this technology has become vital for most businesses. Yet as demands ask for faster connection speeds, various providers are trying to utilise space satellites.
Satellites are sent into the earth’s atmosphere, effectively working as a moving connection. This allows people that may be in poor coverage areas to receive a decent internet connection. It’s also cheaper than building static towers, as there isn’t any need to dig up the ground to place wires.
As the satellites float in orbit, they communicate information to receiver stations. Laser beams, similar to infrared, are exchanged, transferring large amounts of information even faster than fibre optic. This opens the opportunity to create a new communication network, allowing messages to be transferred in a very short amount of time.
Simpler Dental Appointments
There’s no surprise why so many people detest going to the dentist. Even a simple check-up can last a long and uncomfortable amount of time. The main reason for this is the lack of technology to replace the tools currently being used. Development has been hard due to the cost of intricate tools, but now they’ve started to find other solutions.
Scientists in America have created a way that lasers can utilise stem cell research to help repair damaged or decaying teeth. Stem cells are part of the human body that helps to grow new tissue. They require a regular intake of protein to grow and replace damaged cells.
The focus is on dental science, as it only requires a small amount of cell replacement. A low ionising laser beam stimulates growth, and can be directed to the specific areas that are affected.
Of course, lasers being used for the medical industry is nothing new. They’re commonly associated with eye surgery. As scientists take the technology over to other delicate processes, more opportunities will inevitably become available, venturing into areas that are seemingly riskier but very successful.
Rat And Insect Mind Control
You didn’t read that title wrong, scientists have begun testing a concept that involves controlling the minds of rats and flies. An infrared laser has been used to send signals to a fly’s brain, heat to alter the proteins. If targeted in the right place, the fly will become obsessed with the nearest object, even for 15 minutes after the beam is turned off.
This type of experiment is similar to research conducted on optogenetics. It’s a similar method to directing a laser with neurons to a subject’s mind, although it requires a creature larger than a fly. All of this may seem controversial, but this research represents some of the early steps into understanding more on how the mind works.
Scientists aim to find out more about how cells make up our brain and work together. The possibilities are staggering, and could end up curing schizophrenia and alzheimer’s with a simple operation.
Space Rubbish Removal
Space is an amazing place, with nobody being quite sure what mysteries it holds lightyears away. Yet in a bid to try and learn more, satellites and other signal sources have been sent up. It may be relatively straightforward to get them into space, but getting them back is much tougher.
A group known as The Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) is an Australian group that have the backing of various space companies, including NASA. They have been tasked with finding a way to remove all of the rubbish that has started to block our orbit, but it isn’t a simple process.
The biggest fear is that two objects will crash into each other, causing problems for the earth’s orbital system. By using an intense laser beam, it can burn up and disintegrate any of these objects, preventing any issues that may have once been a possibility.
Not only that, but it can also track all of the various objects currently stuck in orbit, allowing us to understand more on how the atmosphere works. There’s also a plan to make sure this laser will be powerful enough to take out any meteors that may cause damage to earth if left alone.
Imagine a world where you could wear whatever you wanted without regretting it later due to weather change. The University of Central Florida and the University of Arizona have been developing a laser beam to control the weather. Focus has been on creating storms and rain for barren areas of the world that suffer from long dry spells.
This development would have a significant impact on the world. The issue of poverty and hunger could be combated by providing rain to barren locations, leading to less mortality and better health.
Lightning, storms and condensation are all weather elements that are part static electricity. By using a series of lasers, with one beam surrounding the other, they can be fired far into the atmosphere. As the laser beam’s heat collapse into each other, the energy becomes so intense it affects the weather.
Further research is required as the science needs to be exact so it doesn’t damage our atmosphere. Yet it’s still incredibly interesting, and we’re excited to see what developments occur surrounding this.
The Importance Of Laser Technology
After reading about all these various experiments that have the potential to, or have already, changed the world, it’s easy to see just how valuable lasers are. With more time and money being invested in a few years time, we may start to see the benefits on a worldwide scale. But for now, only time will tell.
What do you think of this blog? Are there any other ways lasers have helped to change the world? Let us know on Twitter: @SubconLaser