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Researchers Working On A Technique That Could Help Control The Weather

Update Date: Apr 19, 2014 01:59 PM EDT

You heard that right. Researchers are reportedly working on a technique involving dual laser beam that could help control the weather.

Condensation, lighting and storm activity are related with considerable amounts of static charged particles and exciting those with the proper kind of laser could possible cause a shower in cases of extreme drought, said researchers. 

"While high-intensity lasers can travel millions of miles, when a laser beam becomes intense enough, it behaves differently than usual - it collapses inward on itself," said study author Matthew Mills, a graduate student in the university's Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) in the press release.

"The collapse becomes so intense that electrons in the air's oxygen and nitrogen are ripped off creating plasma - basically a soup of electrons," Mills added.

Once this happens, the laser beam pushes back outward and creates a battle between the spreading and collapsing of an ultra-short laser pulse. 

"Because a filament creates excited electrons in its wake as it moves, it artificially seeds the conditions necessary for rain and lightning to occur," Mills said.

In past, researchers had demonstrated efforts that involved generating 'electrical events' in clouds. 

"What would be nice is to have a sneaky way which allows us to produce an arbitrary long 'filament extension cable.' It turns out that if you wrap a large, low intensity, doughnut-like 'dress' beam around the filament and slowly move it inward, you can provide this arbitrary extension," Mills said.

"Since we have control over the length of a filament with our method, one could seed the conditions needed for a rainstorm from afar," Mills added in the press release. "Ultimately, you could artificially control the rain and lightning over a large expanse with such ideas."

Developments of the study has been reported in Nature Photonics. 

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