Scientists at the NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Japan have been able to create a device that beams sound waves in a similar way to laser emitting beams of light. What’s this device being called? Hang on to the bridge, Trekkies. They’re being called phasers.
I’m starting to have a theory that the only goal of all scientists is to make Starfleet a reality. With the invention of tractor beams and now, the introduction of phasers, how can this not be true?
Though phasers have already proven useful for a variety operations in Starfleet, scientists in this reality see phasers being very beneficial in the medicine, electronics and search sectors. For example, scientists envision “phaser technology” improving ultrasound imaging and a more accurate measuring device in the field of electrical engineering.
As mentioned earlier, the phaser is fashioned in a similar way to a laser. A laser emits light particles, or photons, at the same wavelengths which creates a beam of light. The NTT scientists have found a way to emit sound particles, or phonons, in a similar way, creating a beam of sound.
However, (there’s always a “however”, isn’t there?), Staples probably won’t be selling “phaser pointers” any time soon for you to enhance your marketing presentations.
At this point, a phonon beam is unable to travel away from its originating medium. For example, you need a tuning fork to vibrate in order to hear a sound wave. The same seems true for a beam of sound. It needs a medium in order to travel.
Though scientists are trying to find a way to allow a phonon beam to leave its point or origination, at the moment, a phaser beam can only stay within its own device. This is because sound, unlike light, can’t travel through a vacuum. Therefore, a phaser beam can’t travel away from your phaser device toward a potential target. At the end of the day, should you need to defend yourself against any Romulans, you would make a real fool of yourself…