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Swiss scientists create dark clouds with a laser lining (video)

Sean Hollister
May 3, 2010
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Lasers can tell time, shoot down missiles and power one heck of a TV. Now, scientists claim they can create rain clouds, too. Turning a 5-terawatt infrared laser on the sky in short, 100-femtosecond bursts, researchers at the University of Geneva managed to strip electrons from the surrounding air, causing the formation of "hydroxlyl radicals" and growing water droplets in their wake. Though some scientific peers believe the idea could never be used to generate real, useful rain compared to existing cloud seeding techniques, Geneva scholars have now duplicated the effect in both the lab and in the skies over Berlin, and we're sure it's only a matter of time before some nefarious villain figures the frickin' weather control technology into a suitably evil plot. Video after the break.





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