Website Hack a Day brings to attention this remarkable home-made 1 MW laser pulse pistol built by German hacker Patrick Priebe. Not only does the pistol look good -- you'll swear you've seen it in some science fiction movie -- but it works.
Fitted with a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, it fires off a 1 MW blast of infrared light once the capacitors have fully charged. The duration of the laser pulse is somewhere near 100ns, so he was unable to catch it on camera, but its effects are easily visible in whatever medium he has fired upon. The laser can burst balloons, shoot through plastic, and even blow a hole right through a razor blade.
While the cool factor is pretty high, it also sounds pretty dangerous -- how soon before being able to build your own laser pistols becomes illegal?
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