Some Toys Scare Me [End of the World]

You know all those movie scenarios where some cleaning guy sees something shiny and accidentally pushes a button that accidentally triggers an unstoppable chain of events which culminates in the total destruction of the planet and everything living on it? I mean that could never happen right? Well things like this make me feel a little less secure in that assumption. The university of Texas has a new toy in their basement ... a really big toy. It is the world most powerful laser that is currently opperational, weighing it at one-petawatt. Ya its got an output of a quadrillion watts. That could make a lot of coffee. What do they intend to do with this deathstar like device you ask? Well they plan to recreate such things as supernovas and things so they can observe them in Texas as opposed to having to go out into space. Well that is admirable and all and I'm sure NASA will thank them considering how much it cost to fill one of their shuttles up at the pump but last time I was in a Science class, I learned that supernovas were quite ... oh I don't know ... explosively desolating. Like creating explosive clouds of radioactive death that would fry an entire planet in an instant and cover an area on a small galaxy. Well as long as they've got a safety on that thing I guess ... whats the worst that could happen? I mean for all its destructive power, it sure is pretty. [via gizmodo via wired]