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Ultra-fast pulses from a powerful laser can create droplets of water out of thin air, according to a new study. With the right conditions and large enough droplets, the researchers say, the technique could be used to make rain on demand.
Rain forms when water condenses around tiny particles in the atmosphere. Most of the time, dust or pollen do the job, but humans have long attempted to speed the process by seeding clouds with chemicals like silver iodide. Those chemicals provide the so-called "condensation nuclei" that trigger the consolidation of water into raindrops.
To test the idea, the researchers first used an atmospheric cloud chamber, a box that enabled them to vary temperature and humidity. After saturating the air in the chamber, the team flipped on a several-terawatt laser (one terawatt is a trillion watts) and watched with surprise as visible water droplets formed. Three seconds after the laser pulsed, the droplets swelled to diameters of 80 micrometers, smaller than a raindrop but larger than expected.
Originally posted by FalselyFlagged
ZOMG... U mean there's water in the atmosphere???
And only using several trillion watts!! That's pretty energy efficient and green!!
You'd be better off using an Ecoloblue atmospheric water generator, seriously.