Maneuver Around Laser Beam Alarm

posted: 04/11/12
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As seen in "MythBusters: Crimes and Myth-Demeanors."
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Finding: BUSTED

Explanation: The MythBusters took on spy movie magic and attempted to pull off a modern-day heist masterminded by Grant Imahara. Since every good Hollywood heist involves outwitting alarm systems, Grant constructed a laser beam alarm room outfitted with visible and infrared lasers for Tory Belleci and Kari Byron to try to tiptoe their way through.

Setting up the laser beam alarm system was easier said than done, however, since no known alarm companies actually manufacture systems with visible laser beams like we see in the movies. Why? Because, as amateur thieves Tory and Kari proved with this experiment, it may be possible to worm your way around the visible lasers. For example, they found that blowing fine powder in the air, a la Catherine Zeta Jones in the film Entrapment, could illuminate the rays, and jamming another laser into the alarm laser receptor might disarm the system.

In reality, though, most security system companies use infrared laser beams, which are invisible. So while Tory and Kari could plausibly tiptoe around the visible laser beams, the infrared laser backup system - the one today's tricksters are up against — busted them every time.

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