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Laser versus infrared
In the Winter Olympics, indoor speed skating competitions rely on laser beam timing. However, outdoor events such as luge and bobsledding use an infrared beam to record start and finish times. Why the difference? Laser beams are narrower and more precise than infrared beams. They’re ideal for controlled indoor environments, but in weather-prone outdoor venues, they’re more vulnerable to “false-tripping” from falling snow or flying ice chips. So in the great and unpredictable outdoors, infrared beams are often a safer bet.