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"Dots" of plasma created by lasers create a three dimensional figure in open air - Courtesy AIST
By creating plasma in open air with lasers, Japanese scientists are working on a true 3D display

The Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) announced an exciting breakthrough in optoelectronics -- a working three dimensional display.  The display does not rely on any sort of optical illusion or disorientation. Instead, infrared lasers are aligned to converge and create small amounts of plasma.  The plasma acts as a floating "dot" on top of the laser grid. 

The infrared laser pulses across several reflectors so that 100 dots can be created per second.  The initial reports from AIST are a little light on details, but it appears as though the plasma dots can be drawn up to several meters away from the laser source. It also appears as though the device needs a vapor source with specific electron/ion content in order to generate the dots. 




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