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This also answers the "heating" problem. These lasers carry a relatively small amount of energy, and produce very little heat. However, the electric field that is produced when the beam is focused is huge, and many interesting phenomena can be studied with such a laser.
Btw, for the same reason, this type of laser is completely useless as a weapon. In order to cause any real damage one has to deposit energy into the substance that is to be damaged, and again, these laser pulses carry a relatively small amount of energy.