Laser may bring an end to diving the depths

June 27, 1997

NEW laser techniques developed by Aberdeen University could soon allow previously unreachable oil and gas deposits to be exploited. William Deans and John Watson, of Aberdeen's engineering department, have designed a carbon dioxide laser that can weld in sea water. It vaporises water instead of being absorbed by it and creates a "dry" corridor. The researchers are now trying to combine the welding technique with a remote robotic system to overcome the need for divers.

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