Laser Rain Maker

10/3/2013

Got humidity? A trillion watt laser? Make rain. In the future, that is, the foreseeable future.

 

“This will be a game changer,” Michio Kaku said September 25 on CBS “This Morning.” Someday soon, high-powered lasers may be used to manipulate rain and lightning. Kaku, a physics professor at City College of New York, spoke of trillion-watt lasers that could turn humidity into rain.

Scientists have been experimenting with what they describe as more environmentally sustainable cloud seeding with lasers for years. A May 4, 2010, post on phys.org features a demonstration showing how the process works.

High-powered lasers can also be used to move lightning away from vulnerable place as shown in a Weather Channel video.

At the Second Conference on Laser, Weather and Climate, held in September, international scientists spoke on topics such as “Climate and Rogue Waves” and “Clouds, Climate Geoengineering.”

One of the tools to deliver powerful, targeted laser beams is the Teramobile, “the first mobile terawatt laser in the world for atmospheric studies.” Teramobile is an international project initiated by a French-German collaboration of CNRS (France) and DFG (Germany).

Imagine what happens if one can move weather. A person or government might use the technology to irrigate crops. Would rainmaking in one location steal it from another? If lightning can be directed away, can it be directed toward? Also unclear is the ease of obtaining a power source and the amount of power needed to operate such a powerful tool—a trillion watts a pulse— think of the brown or black outs!

Click here to view the CBS This Morning segment. And if you want to know more about the topic, check out this Yahoo blog on lasers, rain, and lightning.

 

 

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