Loud parties, barking dogs, kids practicing drugs, with some neighbors, you just can’t seem to win, but at least those small headaches don’t have you in fear for your life! Imagine having a neighbor who likes to build and play around with death rays? Now, you’ve got real problems. But what kind of person is insane enough to build such a dangerous machine in the first place, you ask? Well, that would be Kevin Kohler, better known as the “Backyard Scientist” on YouTube. You see, Kevin has a reputation for creating some pretty crazy experiments, but one of his projects has really pushed the boundaries and may even have earned him a visit from a few agencies, perhaps even the British government (more on that later).
At first, Kevin tried reaching out to Northrop Grumman, an aerospace company, to inquire about getting his hands on a laser. Sadly, a representative told him over the phone that the model he wanted was only being sold to the U.S. government. But, that didn’t deter Kevin, who happened to “know a guy” in China who, for $1,500, provided him with a state-of-the-art laser. However, the item that arrived certainly didn’t give the impression that it was the main component of a “death ray.”
In fact, once he unpacked his purchase, the part didn’t look all that impressive. But, to Kevin, this thing was a real beauty.
Although it could generate 200 watts of power, the laser fiber only had a diameter of 100 micrometers. To put it in better perspective, that is about the size of a human hair. But don’t let the size fool you!
The beam from this laser was both insanely powerful and also invisible. Kevin said it could literally burn out your eyes before you realized it.
To test out his new toy, Kevin got a block of wood and rock.
The laser quickly cut through both objects as smoothly as sharp scissors cut through paper.
Soon Kevin would convert an old RV satellite mount and remote control to become a part of his mobile death ray. But this paled in comparison to what Kevin was able to do with the actual laser.
Using several different Voltage converters, telescopic reflectors, as well as other techy doo-dads, Kevin made a laser enclosure that would focus and even strengthen his beam; now it was time for the real fun to begin.
Kevin used to use the laser on some targets, including an ice-cold bottle of Corona, a piece of bread and meat, and even a life-sized cutout of Queen Elizabeth II.
The laser’s effect on the queen’s head might give the scientist a few hassles if when traveling to the U.K.
Soon it was time to mount the laser to his car and take it out to an open filed. His mission was to literally shoot for the moon!
Thankfully, there were no airplanes in the area, which meant it was safe to fire into the skies. he used an infrared camera to make the beam visible, and with that, Kevin was ready to blast away.
Boom! the massive laser shot a bright white beam, but before the beam started to burn any trees, Kevin tilted his death ray into the night sky where his beam looked as though it was traveling into infinity.
By the end of his adventure, Kevin demonstrated just how lasers work and how super-cool they are.
Building a home-made death ray is a serious business and should only be left to folks who know what they are doing. However, if stunts like this can spark a child’s interest in science, then I say mission accomplished!
You can watch Kevin’s entire video below.