Scientists suggest that lasers are capable of creating rain--even in the driest places.
So who can say that they didn't ever want to have a laser when they were young...or still do? Does everybody remember the great characters such as Storm from X-Men who could control the weather, or Gi from the 1990s show Captain Planet who could use her elemental ring to control water. The writers have written it, the kids (and some adults) have imagined it and now some scientists are saying that it's actually true and for a lack of better terms, it is "the best of both worlds"--rain can be controlled by lasers!
Before one gets their hopes up, however, since it is science and there are always years and years of theories before the actually it comes to pass, it will be a few years before you can just run out and buy your own rainmaker.
For a while now scientists have debated, discussed, debated and discussed some more about how could drought problems be stopped. Many ideas such as spreading chemicals into the air were slapped down because of the potential effects on the human race. The new process involving these comic book beams has the same background as the chemicals: the particles dispersed into the air act as magnets to the tiny water droplets so that they can come together and form a cloud. The upside to this method? No harmful debris is left over. The cons? As of now, lasers can only attract about 1/10 of the amount of water needed to create enough particles for rainfall. Regardless, how cool would it be to actually create rain this way? It's a dream come true for some comic book fans!
Luckily, in a response to a "finders keepers" question about would this create a new world power and quite possibly a totalitarian one, physicist JÃ©rÃ´me Kasparian stated, "Let me mention that the laser can condense only a small fraction of the moisture from the air, so that the risk that one country takes all the resource from an air mass is not as serious as what happens with surface water, where it is technically possible to pump most of the water from a river before it crosses a border." Nevertheless, it does seem a little dangerous when thinking about how quickly technology has grown in the last 30 years...could a nation rise to power with this method?
Photo Credit: J.P. Wolf University of Geneva