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It's common for lasers to be included in high intensity, spy movies (so I've heard). I've really only seen them in kids cartoons since I'm not well versed in current movie culture (I really only watch romantic comedies-whoops). KIDS!! You are being fooled! You can't actually see a laser beam when it's pointed across a room. Those red lines that you have to tentatively step around to avoid setting off the alarms would not actually be there in real life.

Why is this the case?

Well, lasers are very different from everyday light. It has one specific wave length and is very concentrated. You can only see light that enters directly into your eyes. Because the light emitted from a laser travels in one direction, you aren't able to see it. You can't see it until it hits a wall and the light particles are reflected in multiple directions, ultimately entering your eye. Or, you can clap dust into the air and the light particles will reflect off the dust and enter your eye. 

So, next time you see a character rolling under and jumping over laser beams, just know that they shouldn't really be able to see them, unless the air there was very dirty.


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