When approbation was finally given for the project, Ryan was immediately ready to put together the prototype. Just two weeks later, the team met in the portico of University College, to witness the results.

Ryan explained that, for testing purposes, the subject would be a starfish from the Bond Street aquarium. He wheeled the laser in, and fired; the starfish promptly vanished.

"I thought you were demonstrating levitation to six feet, Dr Ryan," said one of his assistants, as they gathered over a star-shaped hole in the pavement.

"The laser must be upside down; give me a minute," Ryan answered.

Article dated: 15th Mar 2010

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