In a magic system that allowed the manipulation of energy by sorcerers, what would a bystander observe during such an attack? Some details are relevant:
- As I understand it, lasers are visible due to scattering of light, therefore a lot would depend on the air (dusty, clear) and possibly even the time of day. This is evidenced by the fact that lasers are invisible in a vacuum. Therefore, if the laser is observable, what would its color be, presuming it is within the range of lasers "hot enough" to cause fatal damage to the target? I've read that blue lasers are apparently hotter than others.
- What would be the observable effect on the target at the point of impact? Would we observe charring, or something more explosive as liquids are super-heated? Apparently, lasers "ablate the surface and create a small amount of exploding plasma". This source also supports an explosive reaction. However, as stated in this medical article, mid-infrared lasers with long wavelengths cut by burning (breaking down chemical bonds holding tissue together). Shorter wavelength lasers in the near-infrared, visible and ultraviolet range create a series of micro-explosions that break the molecules apart i.e. plasma is created at the laser focus. "At the end of each laser pulse, the plasma collapses and the energy released produces the micro-explosions".