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2016-01-13 15:13:48 Post No. 7780893
Post No. 7780893
The representation of lasers in popular culture, and especially in science fiction and action films, is very often misleading, if not downright wrong. Some examples?
Unlike in air, a laser beam would not be visible to the naked eye in the near-vacuum of space, because there is not sufficient matter in space to produce the light scattering needed to actually see the beam. Blaster strikes from the Tie Fighters in Star Wars? They'd be invisible.
Science fiction films also often depict lasers moving at only a few metres/second, in a manner reminiscent of conventional tracer ammunition. But a laser is electromagnetic radiation - it travels at the speed of light.
Action movies e.g. Mission Impossible, often depict laser-based security systems whose beams can be illuminated with dust or powder and cleverly defeated with a combination of mirrors. Such security systems almost never use visible lasers, and putting enough dust in the air to make the beam visible would probably trigger the alarm anyway.
In the 1964 film Goldfinger, Bond faces a hot laser beam approaching his groin, inch-by-inch melting the solid gold table to which he is strapped. Goldfinger's director, Guy Hamilton, found that a real laser beam would not show up on camera, so it was inserted after filming as an optical effect. The table was also precut and then coated with gold paint, and the faux-laser melting effect was achieved by a man sitting below the table armed with an oxyacetylene torch.