Germany to Create Clouds with Lasers, Because Why Not?

Senior Contributor
05.05.10

Lasers have many vital and important uses: 4chan memes, tormenting cats with a minimum of effort, giving fourteen-year-olds a vital tool in their campaign to be as annoying as humanly possible in movie theaters.  Add to that a frivolous use; making it rain.

Clearly not up on the fact that this sounds exactly like a bad plot from a ’40s pulp novel about malevolent Nazi scientists out to flood the world, German scientists have demonstrated in the lab that a really powerful laser can easily create clouds.  It’s not even that complicated to explain: fire a powerful laser (220 millijoules, for those who care) into air saturated with water, and clouds will condense in the laser’s wake, along with a rain of roasted birds.  They believe it strips the electrons out of atoms in the air, giving clouds the “seeds” they need to form .  They’re working on making this a “real-world” technology, and plan to flood the city of Metropolis before Superman returns from his battle with Darkseid on Apokolips.

[via New Scientist ]

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