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 ]