Almost Niven's Flashlight Laser

One of my favorite items in a long list by science fiction author Larry Niven is the flashlight laser from his classic 1970 novel Ringworld:

Louis' thumb moved, and the gargoyle glowed yellow-white. His index finger shifted, and the beam narrowed to a pencil of green light. The gargoyle sprouted a white-hot navel.
(Read more about Niven's flashlight laser)

It's not quite a flashlight laser, but we're getting there. Take a look at this customized Maglite flashlight.


(Custom Maglite fire-starting flashlight)

How was it done? Well, you'll need

  • 12 1.2V NiMH (rechargable) batteries capable of sustained 10 amp draws.
  • An Osram HLX 64623 bulb "over-clocked" to 14+V, to about 140 watts, with an estimated light output of about 4000 lumens. (Compare that to a regular 2D MagLight, which is much, much less than 50 lumens.)
  • There's also a metal reflector.

Thanks to bajab for pointing this one out. Via Extreme Geek.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/24/2007)

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