Yesterday I blogged about the effort of NASA to study the technological avenues to the creation of a practical "tractor" beam, and noted the phenomenon long known to optical scientists of particles traveling backward along a beam in the opposite direction to its propagation. Well, scientists are also exploring the possibility of an ultra-powerful laser to rip apart the vacuum itself, in order to test one of the planks of quantum mechanics:
Note those opening paragraphs: this laser would be (1) 200 times more powerful than any currently in existence, (2) it would be powerful enough to "boil" the fabric of space-time at a pin point, and thus (3) powerful enough to detect the particles that quantum mechanics states continuously pop in and out of existence, by maintaining them in existence long enough to detect their tiny electrical fields, and (4) powerful enough to detect if "extra dimensions" exist, those very extra dimensions so crucial to the mathematical formulation of so many theories, including string theory with its ten or twenty-six dimensions (depending on which rotational version is in view).
I hope you looked at that diagram carefully, and understand the implications of what is being suggested here. Note that in the diagram, ten lasers are being used -apparently in interferometric configuration- to produce a super-intense laser beam at a point, shades of George Lucas' "Death Star" from Star Wars. And the result - boiling a point of the vacuum in order to detect those "ghost particles" - should give on equal pause, for quite literally, scientists are proposing a laser capable of ripping apart a tiny piece of the fabric of the vacuum... deadly stuff any way one slices it.
If successful, the experiments could be progressively refined, perhaps to the extent that, yes, the principle being investigated could conceivably be weaponized. Add to the mix the usual techniques investigated ever since Ronald Reagan's "Strategic Defense Initiative" such as phase conjugation and so on. This is one to watch folks, and to watch very carefully, for several key points of the standard model of physics could be verified - or indeed, falsified - by this experiment, and from there, dark minds in black places could develop the results for nefarious purposes. My guess? the experiment will demonstrate the current theories and perhaps find evidence of those extra dimensions.
The experiment also raises, once again, the specter that, if it's being talked about openly now, it perhaps has already been done in secret... after all, if this super laser costs a mere one billion pounds, we already know that the black budget of America is in excess of that ever year, by several billion. Could such a laser have already been built, and could the theory have already been tested? Again, my guess is....yes....