As of 1:45 Monday, 217 people have cast votes in the Laser Smackdown poll. That’s not bad, but it’s currently being handily beaten by the 271 people who have voted for a favorite system of units.

The nice thing about using actual poll services for this sort of thing, though, is that I can re-post the poll to boost signal a little. So, here it is again, a list of the twelve most amazing laser applications suggested by my wise and worldly readers, with links to short explanations of the pros and cons of each:

Voting will remain open until next Sunday, May 2, with the ultimate winner announced on Monday, May 3rd. Whereupon everybody will have to acknowledge the winning application as the Most Amazing Laser Application of All Time. Because, you know, that’s how these things work.

So get reading, and get voting. One vote per computer per user, please– this is Serious Science.


  1. #1 becca
    April 26, 2010

    Where is the “sharks with friggin laser beams attached to their heads”???

  2. #2 red pepper
    April 27, 2010

    Yesterday, I got Wii shoulder after playing baseball for the first time. Now my muscles get tense whenever I write or move my arm in general. Good thing I don’t own a Wii myself.

  3. #3 Jon H
    April 27, 2010

    What, no optical stimulation of neurons in the brain (after the neurons have been genetically modified by viruses to express genes that cause them to be light-sensitive)?

    Or two-photon microscopy?

  4. #4 Nick
    April 27, 2010

    I’m gonna have to stick with making popcorn – real genius style.

  5. #5 Tim
    April 28, 2010

    Our best measurements of supermassive black holes come from Nature’s own lasers. And the lasing material is water.

  6. #6 lula
    April 29, 2010

    Cat toy FTW. gimmie a treat.

  7. #7 JDW
    April 30, 2010

    Laser eye surgery saved my father’s eyesight (and will probably save mine one of these days), so I’m going to go with that one.

  8. #8 Raging Bee
    May 4, 2010

    I vote for big lasers on satellites to shoot down ICBMs in their boost phase, because without them, we’d all be helpless against a nuclear attack…

    What, it has to be something that WORKS? Damn, you’re a tough crowd here…

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