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combustion cycle

  • Laser beams on a car windshield, photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    "You can't start a fire without a spark" sang Bruce Springsteen in his 1984 hit Dancing In The Dark. Great line, but unfortunately for old Bruce he wasn't quite technically accurate, as a research team in Japan and Romania is looking into using lasers to ignite the fuel-air mixture in combustion engines. Using a laser to ignite fuel seems like a great idea and you may be wondering why nobody has thought of it before. The answer is that they have, but previously lasers capable of delivering sufficient power to ignite a fuel-air mixture have been too large and too fragile to be practical in...

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