back to article Amazing 'pulse of darkness' ray tech birthed in US gov labs

US government boffins say they have invented a fiendishly cunning new kind of laser running on quantum dots which, rather than producing pulses of light, actually emits pulses of intense darkness. Unsurprisingly but mildly sinisterly, the new invention has been dubbed the "dark pulse laser". It works using extremely clever …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But does it work underwater?

    Enquiring shark-owners want to know.

    1. Seanmon

      Yeah, apparently.

      But you can't see it. Sometimes.

  2. 0laf
    Thumb Up


    Mingming the Merciless with his dark-laser doomsday device?

  3. Alex Martin

    Dark Matter

    If this is "dark laser" is it technically firing dark matter?

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      no. Dark Energy

      that is all

      1. Kevin 43

        But surely

        Edark = MdarkC^2 ?

  4. Mark Barker


    This thing sends pulses faster than the speed of dark?

  5. Mountford D

    Money making angle?

    I remember we had a money-making brainstorming exercise many years ago and someone suggested a dark-making device. The idea was dismissed immediately as nonsense and we had a good laugh about it. I guess it demonstrates that the concept of brainstorming does actually work.

  6. M man

    May I be the first..

    To bow down to our Dark laser owning overlords.

    C'mon ...whens it gonna be made into a weapon.

  7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Awesome frikkin' lasers

    You can do anything with them but do these work like the bells of Unseen University? I mean does everything get bathed regularly in darkness? Is the sunlight sucked out of the room? Is this the solution to global warming? Point the gun at the earth to syphon off excess heat?

    So many questions for our new overlord, Emperor MingMing, to answer.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I'll believe that...

    ...when I can't see it...

  9. Anonymous Coward

    "It works using extremely clever quantum dots"

    Oh, go on then: tell me how one goes about measuring the intelligence of these quantum dots.

    Or did you mean, perhaps, that it's extremely clever use of quantum dots?

    I should get out more, I know.

  10. Arnold Lieberman


    When I were a nipper, I had a dream about a 'dark light' - it looked like a regular flourescent tube but was black (a bit like a UV lamp). When it was switched on, the room went dark.

  11. Rogerborg

    Oh, God, I can't wait for the Slashbots to get on this

    Just so we're all clear, what we're talking about is not magically shooting beams of anti-light, but very rapidly introducing less bright pulses into an otherwise bright beam. In other words, it's a frikkin' laser with a dimmer switch.

    We all read the article and figured that out, right?

    1. The old man from scene 24

      Are you sure?

      I thought it was talking about a laser capable of emitting a beam of pure anti-matter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Since the dark laser uses up energy in addition to its power source when operating, does this mean that it has negative efficiency?

      Of course, I fully expect v2 to have no internal power source and only suck up energy from the surrounding environment. Might make for a really useful heat-sink.

  12. Mos Eisley Spaceport

    You lost me at...


  13. William Boyle

    Science and fiction collide...

    I can only imagine what scifi writers will do with the idea of a "dark ray". Instead of blowing things up, maybe they'll just implode... :-)

    1. I didn't do IT.

      Re: Reaction of dark laser

      The destructive force of a laser is in the intense and rapid increase in deltaT (temperature change), causing the material the laser is interacting with to melt and/or vaporise.

      A dark laser, logically, must then affect deltaT in the exact opposite way, causing the object to undergo a dramatic freezing.

      Of course, logic can completely ride roughshod over good science. :)

  14. Anomalous Cowherd Silver badge

    Not a dark laser - it's a pulse laser

    I'll take two for my Cobra Mark III please.

  15. Tim #3

    Class headline

    A beer for whoever coined "Pulse of darkness". However it has reminded me I have a blind date tonight... the horror. Wish me luck.

  16. Johnny Canuck

    Turns itself off?

    Already been done.

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    So it's a bright *continuous* laser with well defined sharp darkness pulses

    Handy if your sensors or experimental media respond "better" (in some way) to the light to dark transition. Possibly useful for stunning some chemicals or cells then studying their relaxation to their unshocked state.

  18. Bounty


    Dark Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation?

  19. John_NY
    Thumb Up

    those perfectionists ought to be pleased

    Good stuff for the folks at NIST, who are interested in very accurate and well-characterized pulses, among other fastidiously accurate and impossibly well-characterized phenomena.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dumbledore spinning in his grave

    Did someone just re-invent the Deluminator/Put-Outer? I wonder if its Patent Pending!

  21. Captain Thyratron

    I've been doing that for a while.

    Somebody taped a label to a switch on the wall in my house. Says "Electrical Darkener". When it's in the "on" position, the room is dark. It tells the truth!

    That in't coherent, though, and I sure can't make the room go dark in as little as ninety picoseconds.

    In all seriousness, that's what this is about. It's handy to have a laser be able to turn off really fast. Falling edges are as important as rising edges.

  22. VeganVegan


    A little Kurtz in the center of each dot.

  23. Russ Williams

    @The old man from scene 24

    That's not a laser!

    (These forums would suck without audience partici...)

  24. NemoWho

    "What would you possibly use that for?"

    "Un-making enormous Swiss cheese?"

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022