Undeniable Fact: The Most Dangerous Name

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

At the 1914 World's Fair, a powerful energy beam was revealed to the public which was believed to be so wildly dangerous that it was given the name "laser", standing for "Ladies and sirs, everybody run."

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15 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Mahajan said...

Nope. The first working laser was produced only in 1960...

12:09 PM  
Blogger gumbostu said...

it actually stands for: Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation

10:03 PM  
Blogger gumbostu said...

and btw, this site really isn't that funny

10:04 PM  
Blogger DJArashi said...

They were going to name it LAGWYAKYBG (Ladies and gentlemen, wet yourselves and kiss your bum good-bye.) but LASER just sounds SO much cooler.

LASER.

Or LAZER. But that's only for Ladies and Zod.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Edward Hansen said...

The first laser was demonstrated in 1962.
A laser (from the acronym Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is an optical source that emits photons in a coherent beam. The back-formed verb to lase means "to produce laser light" or possibly "to apply laser light to".

As you clearly can see I am not an American...

1:28 AM  
Blogger Rohit said...

Got that off trusty old wiki, right edward? NP, I got the date from the same place...a few months back...
Guess Mr. Serena won't be commenting for quite a while...I'm beginning to enjoy this blog.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Dan Serena said...

While it is true that the name "laser", when applied to the device invented in 1959 and first built in 1960 which used a flash lamp and synthetic ruby stands for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation", this was simply a backronym devised to link the new invention to the awesomely powerful weapon demonstrated in 1914. The newer expansion of "laser" is a fairly well-known and mundane piece of trivia, so I thought I would share original root of the name.

1:26 PM  
Blogger thomas said...

Yes, you are right, rohit, Mr. Serene won't be commenting for quite some time! Ten minutes later...

4:23 PM  
Blogger Rohit said...

Hehe, as far as I can search, there is no reference to any 1914 weapon demonstration. I am a bit weak at history, but if I'm right, 1914 was the year that WW1 broke out, and I doubt someone would be demonstrating any such weapons. Forget that, search for copapods- they're one of the most dangerous crustaceans. They react to the prescence of ammonia and spontaneously combust, and, render that person permanently blind...

5:44 AM  
Blogger Dan Serena said...

Rohit, I had not heard of this phenomenon in copapods. Of course, an environment rich in ammonia is bad for your eyes for other reasons as well. In addition to copapods, the eye's cornea is home to several colony forming biflagellate algae of the family Volvocaceae. These tiny plants are the primary diet of copapods. If you were to expose your eye to high levels of nitrates (ammonia or otherwise), it would cause an explosion of growth among these algae. Presented with such a smorgasbord, the copapods would then rapidly overpopulate. If normal nitrate levels in the environment were restored, the algae's population would diminish, and the copapods would begin to starve. At this point, the copapods would begin eating your eyes.

7:57 AM  
Blogger John said...

I've just done some research on this and, in fact, the 1914 World's Fair did feature what today would be referred to as a particle beam weapon created by Nikola Tesla. Though the device performed flawlessly, those that witnessed the exibition were so unprepared for its advanced technology that they missed its significance all together. Tesla spent his entire life and fortune in vain trying to prove the worth of his brilliant invention. Ironically, it would be years after his death that his invention would finally be reborn as today's microwave oven.

4:42 PM  
Blogger JettLogic said...

Dudes - please can we have some references to history books here. The 1960's "LASER" bit you hear in physics class and textbooks, so presumably reliable.

But.. the 1914 stuff sounds like a bunch of phooey to me. Where did Serena get his info? And is there a non-conspiracy-theorist work to confirm john about his Nicola Tesla event?

7:49 AM  
Blogger duffytoler said...

Yes, the term was reused, the department of defense has a long history of this - "AOL" stood for "Area Of Limitation" long before it was America OnLine, "Star Wars" was a movie before it was a missle defense project, "WTF" originally stood for "Where's The Fire?", etc.

7:43 PM  
Blogger sophia-yang said...

this post is very knowledgeable and i finally learn "laser"stands for "ladies and sirs, everyone runs".Just like SOS,it is a good signal to escape the danger!HP Compaq Presario CQ60 battery

4:02 AM  
Blogger sophia-yang said...

This post is very knowledgeable and i finally learn "laser” stands for "ladies and sirs, everyone runs”. Just like SOS, it is a good signal to escape the danger!HP Compaq Presario CQ60 battery

4:04 AM  

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