Researchers at The Pentagon as a part of a military initiative called the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWP) have finished tesing a weapon that makes lasers talk. The weapon works by using the principle called the Laser Induced Plasma Effect, which involves firing an incredibly powerful laser to create a ball of plasma, then shooting a second laser to oscillate the plasma, creating sound waves. By firing the laser at the right frequencies, the plasma vibrations mimic human speech.
According to the news site MilitaryTimes.com, a military-ready version of this weapon will be ready in as little as five years. The reaseachers eventually hope to create a version of the laser that can send clear messages hundreds of miles away.
In the journal Optics Letters in January, Researchers at MIT is said to be working on something similar. In their version the laser would wiggle water molecules in the air near the listener’s ear, causing calculated molecular collisions that produce sound waves.