Science has come a long way in the past 100 years, but it still doesn't have much or any influence over natural phenomenon. That could change in the next few years though, if a latest research is to be believed.
A joint study by the University of Central Florida's College of Optics & Photonics and the University of Arizona has found that by beaming high-energy laser rays towards clouds, we can gain control over rain and lightning. What it means is that through this theoretical approach, clouds can be made to shower whenever we want.
The researchers behind this study have observed that when laser rays of extremely high intensity are beamed at a great distance, their behavior changes. They then collapse inwardly and create a condition called filamentation, which is extremely conducive for rain and lightning.
But getting a laser beam to reach that far without collapsing or being blasted by lightning is still a problem. The good news is that the researchers have found a solution for that too.
"What would be nice is to have a sneaky way which allows us to produce an arbitrary long 'filament extension cable,'" said Matthew Mills, a graduate student in the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL). "It turns out that if you wrap a large, low intensity, doughnut-like 'dress' beam around the filament and slowly move it inward, you can provide this arbitrary extension.
"Since we have control over the length of a filament with our method, one could seed the conditions needed for a rainstorm from afar. Ultimately, you could artificially control the rain and lightning over a large expanse with such ideas."
The research still is at a very early stage and would need years and years of work for practical application, but at least we can start dreaming about influencing nature now.