After thinking up this Idea, I looked to see if it was already posted, and something like it was (see link). However....
The focus of my version was not ONLY just to pop one kernel at a time, but to pop EVERY kernel. I'm pretty sure the main reason not all kernels pop is because of variations in
the way they receive heat. That will not happen in a popper like this one!
Also, I disagree with [DrCurry]'s statement that it will take significant time to pop a single kernel. It depends only on how much energy the body of the kernel can quickly absorb. It was correctly pointed out in an annotation to that Idea that lasers would heat the outside of the kernel quickly, which could become scorched before significant heat reached the interior of the kernel, to cause water to convert to steam and thereby burst the hull and puff the kernel.
Nevertheless, while lasers are not the best way to apply energy, the overall idea of making the popper similar to an "inertial confinement nuclear fusion reactor" remains. Are you aware that in a production facility, such a reactor must cause several pellets of fuel PER SECOND to explode nuclearly, if it is to produce useful power? Obviously if we can pop corn kernels at a similar speed, production can keep up with the eating!
So, the popper requires a hopper, with a kind of "drip" dispenser that lets one kernel at a time fall into the "pop zone", where it gets blasted with energy. The appropriate devices to use, to blast it, are multiple "masers", not multiple lasers. Masers were actually invented several years before lasers; the acronym M.A.S.E.R. stands for "microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation". Lasers work on the same principle, except for amplifying light instead of microwaves, and were named after masers.
Next, microwaves are a lot bigger than corn kernels, and this leads to a problem of energy-wastefulness. If you imagine a microwave photon as a wiggling wave that you can draw on a piece of paper, one "wavelength" could be several centimeters. Place a corn kernel on the paper and you can see the wave MISS the kernel by wiggling around it as it passes by. Energy not absorbed by the kernel is wasted, so a method of focussing the microwaves onto the targeted corn kernels, in this popper, is necessary. Fortunately, such a method exists (involving specially constructed materials that have a "negative index of refraction"); it is called a "superlens" (see link). We will need one superlens for each maser in the unit, of course.
Naturally, we want the masers in this corn popper to be tuned to the frequency that water maximally absorbs (quite like an ordinary microwave oven), so that a blast of focused microwaves, from several directions surrounding a kernel, will almost instantly cause the water in the kernel to boil, and thus pop the kernel. Then we rig the device to be able to create several powerful blasts of microwaves per second.
So, as each kernel "drips" out of the hopper and falls through the "pop zone", it gets popped. Every single one of them, several kernels per second. There should be a device to detect whether-or-not a kernel is actually in the pop zone, before loosing the blast, in case the hopper/drip mechanism malfunctions. And that detection device can also be used to precisely time the blasts, so that a blast only occurs when a kernel is in the right place (during its vertical fall) in the zone.
Finally, the popped kernels fall into a kind of revolving-door device that prevents microwaves from getting out of the popper, while allowing the kernels to be collected in a container outside the unit. Just add butter and salt, and enjoy!