The power of a typical laser pointer is around 0.005 Watts. The FDA limit on laser operation is 100 times that, at 0.5 Watts. This kid just built a “laser bazooka” 400 times more powerful than that. Yeah, don’t try this at home.
In the video above, YouTuber styropyro — he has graciously gifted us with both a laser lightsaber and a laser shotgun in previous videos — has crafted what he estimates is the most powerful handheld laser ever built outside industrial or military applications. Given that just looking at a dot on a wall from a 0.5W laser can permanently damage your eyes, and he’s swinging around a 200W laser, we’re going to back away slowly and give him the benefit of the doubt.
styropyro built his latest lawsuit in a garage with a box of scraps. The housing, the lasers, the focusing element, all of it was either junk or recycled. It can ignite gunpowder in about a second, burn wood, burn through computer housing, and pop balloons. We’d expect that balloons wouldn’t fare well, considering that, as styropyro explains, looking straight into his bazooka would be 33,000,000 times worse than looking into the Sun.
There are obvious safety concerns here, but at least styropyro seems to be taking the necessary precautions. And he’s communicating the build, perils, and comparisons like a pro. We still think it’s a bad idea, but he’s got that going for him.
What do you think? Want to get your hands on a laser that could vaporize a passing seagull (maybe)? Let us know in the comments below.