A U.S. student has shown off his latest laser creation in a video posted online.
Drake Anthony is currently studying chemistry, physics and mathematics at Southern Illinois University, and has put some of his knowledge to good, but dangerous, use. Although the laser shotgun is an impressive piece of kit, Anthony himself admits that it is dangerous.
Student builds laser shotgun at home
“The output of this laser is complete insanity, and is made up of 8 parallel 5W laser beams totaling to 40W. The parallel beams are manipulated with lenses, sort of like how a choke modifies the spread of a shotgun blast,” says Anthony. “This is definitely the craziest thing I have ever built, but I hope to beat this invention with something even crazier before too long.”
Anthony is the man behind the styropyro YouTube account, and calls himself the “DIY laser guy.” Anthony released a video of himself using the laser shotgun, in which it bursts balloons, burns ping pong balls and sets wood on fire. The clip received over 600,000 views in a day.
“There is no good reason for anybody to own something this powerful,” says Anthony in the video. “But because it wasn’t illegal for me to build, I decided to build it anyway.”
Powerful weapon unlikely to be the last we see from Anthony
Those planning on building their own laser shotgun should research local laws before doing so, because the legality of such a project varies from state to state.
He previously released a video of a laser sword, which had an output of 3W. It is likely that Anthony will continue to build impressive homemade devices given that he plans to study for a PhD in chemistry or physics.
To provide a sense of quite how powerful the laser shotgun is, the most powerful laser available to buy in shops is 0.005 Watts. At the other end of the scale is the U.S. Navy’s prototype warship-mounted laser cannon, which boasts 30,000 Watts and can shoot down drones.
It is never a good idea to point any kind of laser into your eyes, even if you are wearing protective glasses like Anthony does in the video.