While this is cool as all hell, unfortunately it looks like we won't be blowing shit up with dark pulse lasers anytime soon. Setting our watches, maybe, but no death star explosions.Thus the laser, brilliantly, is able to almost turn itself off and go dark. In itself this would be rather unimpressive, but the dark pulse laser goes briefly dark and then comes back on in just 90 picoseconds. As the dark-pulse can be measured, the laser is thus a means of measuring time very precisely.
The boffins of the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, who unlocked the secrets of darkness, are chuffed as ninepence with their new kit. They consider that it could be handy in the next generation of optical atomic ultraclocks and/or superpowered networking and comms kit of the future.