It has become pretty common that ideas from fiction serve as inspiration for real-world innovation. That works for weapons as well as the tech that makes our lives better. It’s a real thrill to see a hi-tech super-destructive new weapon in a science fiction action film, as it provides a challenge for our heroes. But in real life, they could have devastating consequences. Like a freeze ray. Supposedly impractical, delving into the technology of such a weapon has wide-ranging implications.
Super villians in the movies and comics seem to really love freeze rays because it allows them to trap enemies in a solid block of ice and have a monologue without interruption for hours while their foe dies of hypothermia or boredom, whichever comes first. Although this may sound like an impractical thought, so does training polar bears to watch guard over your lair. Scientists have found that by using lasers on high-pressure gas, temperatures can be lowered by 119-degree Fahrenheit in only 19 seconds.
The trick to this amazing science is that photons knock electrons out of orbit. The atom then loses electrons which loses energy and heat. In Laments Terms, the lasers are blasting the warmth away down at the atomic level and the reaction occurs so quickly that gas can be frozen and distributed prior to it becoming a liquid.
Read about other weapons from fiction that are coming to the real world at Money Inc.