The Marines Are Building An Anti-Drone Weapon—And, Yep, It's A Laser

Now that pretty much everyone has surveillance drones, the U.S. Marines need to develop a weapon to knock them out of the skies—especially during the critical period when reconnaissance forces are landing on a beach. Faced with a shortage of anti-aircraft missiles, the Marines are looking for a few good lasers. » 6/13/14 2:00pm 6/13/14 2:00pm

Meet the telescope behind the Pac-Man photos

According to the memes circling around this weekend, Mecha Pac-Man has a fondness for lunar cheese and starlight, gaping wide to gobble them both. In reality, the telescope behind the Pac-Man photograph is Auxiliary Telescope 2, an essential component of the most productive ground-based telescope on the planet. » 3/11/14 6:08pm 3/11/14 6:08pm

Real life laser scientists photographed as B-movie heroes

We don't see scientists portrayed as heroes very often in pop culture these days. Usually, scientists are the ones who unleash something terrible onto the world. But when photographer Robert Shults visited the Texas Petawatt Laser, one of the world's most powerful lasers, he was determined to capture the heroism of… » 2/26/14 6:00pm 2/26/14 6:00pm

Tomorrow's Material World is Being Built at the Molecular Foundry

The Molecular Foundry sounds like a laboratory out of a science fiction story, but it's as real as the rubber gloves sticking out of this metal-organic chemical vapor deposition tool. Last weekend, I went on a tour of this UC Berkeley facility, where scientists and entrepreneurs work at nanoscale, literally rebuilding… » 4/04/13 4:58pm 4/04/13 4:58pm

Physicist aims to publish a science fiction novel to raise $2 million…

A physicist is asking for help publishing his wild new science fiction book series — and possibly also creating a new superweapon that would change the face of war forever. Australian-born physicist Adam Weigold is trying to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter to pay for editing and marketing for his novel Dragon Empire,… » 1/15/13 5:30pm 1/15/13 5:30pm

Physicists demonstrate an actual tractor beam in the lab

It seems like we're getting closer to the Star Trek future by leaps and bounds these days. We recently learned that a NASA scientist has set his sights on building a warp drive, and now news has come in that a team of physicists have built their own tractor beam in the lab. Now, it's nothing to get too excited over —… » 10/24/12 2:40pm 10/24/12 2:40pm