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  (Source: LucasFilm)

Wicked Lasers' infamous S3 Arctic Spyder III  (Source: Wicked Lasers)
Now if the company can just manage to beat the far worse foe -- wild demand and short supply

DailyTech brought you news back in early June of Wicked Laser's stunning Spyder III Pro Arctic laser, a powerful 1-watt device that could practically double as a weapon, setting people on fire and blinding them.  We didn't expect at all what would come next -- a legal threat against Wicked Lasers from Star Wars creator George Lucas.   

Amid a resultant media circus, it appears that Lucas has finally backed down from his threat according to
Hot Hardware.  David J. Anderman, General Counsel for LucasFilm, says that his firm will back off the threat of legal action in the original cease and desist letter if Wicked Lasers will put a disclaimer that it is not affiliated with Lucas Film/Lucas Arts.  He says the company can continue to sell the product.

"The media and public has come to realize that Lucasfilm would never endorse or license a highly dangerous product such as your Arctic Pro Laser," Mr. Anderman writes.

Wicked Lasers CEO Steve Liu comments on the rollercoaster ride with Lucas Film, "This has been strange. We felt that it would have been a very bad thing in the beginning, but it ended up helping the business in a very big way."

Demand for the new laser weapon is so high that the company is struggling to meet orders, despite having bumped the price from $199 to $299.  The Hong Kong-based company has also added new safety features, such as adjustable power settings, a pair of safety glass, and a training lens that limits the laser's power.  The new features come in response to criticism that it's being irresponsible handing such a dangerous device to the public.

To get full burning power out of the laser users have to purchase an additional lens set, which comes with a "focusing lens".  

The Wicked Lasers' legal staff can rest easy for now.  We have a feeling they might see some action again, though, given that the laser admittedly can set human skin on fire.

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RE: Hysterical Much?
By Riven98 on 8/6/2010 12:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
Case in point: I was involved with a university group where we had access to an 8000W laser with custom optics that let us spread the beam to quite a large size. Of course, we used it to cook some steaks. With a 8kW infrared laser it took more than an hour to cook a half dozen steaks to medium rare.

I am certainly not an expert on the topic, but I have read many amazingly technical posts on DT, so I know there has to be someone who could speak to this definatively. By spreading the beam, you decreased the applied power for each point of the steaks. I'm guessing the applied power would go down by the square since A = pi * r^2.

RE: Hysterical Much?
By MrTeal on 8/6/2010 12:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
No, applied power is constant. The intensity is lower when the beam is widened, but it is linear with area. However, it's not constant throughout the beam; even in an ideal case the beam is gaussian and has more energy in the center than at the outside.

As to how that affects it's ability to cook, it would probably be an interesting experiment with the little laser. I would guess that the spot would start to cook fairly rapidly, but would reach equilibrium pretty quickly. A raw steak is (hopefully) pretty juicy and should conduct heat decently well, and it has a lot of surface area compared to the small amount of power being applied.

Like I said, the arctic laser might give someone a small burn, but just a small burn in any reasonable time frame. According to Wicked, their beam diameter is 1.5mm and the beam divergence is 1.5mRad, so from 5m away the spot size would be ~9mm in diameter, area would be 64mm^2, and power density would be 0.016W/mm^2. Compare that to a CPU with a die size of 250mm^2 dissipating 80W.

RE: Hysterical Much?
By FoxFour on 8/7/2010 12:08:24 AM , Rating: 2
I would guess that the spot would start to cook fairly rapidly, but would reach equilibrium pretty quickly. A raw steak is (hopefully) pretty juicy and should conduct heat decently well, and it has a lot of surface area compared to the small amount of power being applied.

Clearly your only experience with cooking steak was the one you described above involving the 8 kW laser.

Beef is a TERRIBLE conductor of heat.

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