Laser Pointer Can Melt Glass

An optics researcher bundled blue laser diodes to melt glass and set wood ablaze.


The laser pointer might be one of those inventions that causes more problems than it solves. In fact, I am certain I’ve seen a laser pointer used more often to annoy or distract than for its expressed purpose. Which is: to point.

This next story takes the laser pointer problem to an absolute extreme. There’s a popular YouTuber by the name of Drake Anthony who uses the handle “StyroPyro.” Now, despite your perception of 20-something YouTubers, and mine, Anthony actually has a degree in chemistry and has since studied optics in the PhD program at the University of Rochester.

His interest is in lasers, and he’s been creating extreme DIY projects that net millions of views online — and his latest does not disappoint. He reportedly got his hands on an engineering sample of blue laser diode array, which are typically intended to be used individually. But Anthony bundled them into a handheld housing that allowed for them to be fired all at the same time.

The device uses over 100 watts of power, and, for perspective, that’s a slight jump from the standard office supply laser pointer, which uses .005 watts, per legal requirements. So the results diverge from your standard college professor’s requirements. In this case, Anthony was able to instantly set wooden two-by-fours on fire and even melt glass within seconds.

While it’s pretty wild to watch, we have to, legally, remind you to not try this at home.

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