Merging Laser Beams with an Ultrapure Diamond Crystal

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In a recent posting we presented the development of a diagnostic device called a tricorder which was first proposed in the 1960's science fiction television series Star Trek. If we fast forward 10 years to the movie Star Wars we can find another science fiction device now being developed. The Death Star was a moon sized space station with a weapon so powerful it could destroy planets. The super laser array combined multiple beams in a crystal to form one planet destroying beam. A group from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia has developed a system that can combine multiple lasers into one powerful beam using a diamond. While it may not be on a planetary scale, it shows how peoples imagination just needs time for technology to catch up. -ed

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