Lasers of the Future

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lasers of the Future


Recently, scientists at Osaka University in Japan fired a laser capable of producing a 2-petawatt pulse – that’s 2000 trillion watts of energy, released in a short amount of time. What types of scientific applications could this have?

Scientists at Osaka University claim they have fired the world's most powerful laser beam.

The beam instantaneously concentrated energy equivalent to 1,000 times the world's electricity consumption and entered the record books as the most powerful laser beam ever emitted, the researchers said.
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"Our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts."

Although the energy of the laser beam itself was only powerful enough to run a microwave for about two seconds, the team was able to attain the massive output by concentrating the power to 1 pico-second, or one-trillionth of a second.

The team at the university's Institute of Laser Engineering emitted a 2-petawatt, or 2 quadrillion-watt, laser beam using the huge "LFEX" (Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments).

Petawatt Laser

The LFEX is about 100 meters long, including the observation apparatus. The four set of devices to amplify the laser beam were completed at the end of last year.

In the experiment, energy was applied to special glass using devices that were basically lamps resembling ordinary fluorescent tubes, repeatedly amplifying the power of the beam.

The team held experiments continuously and confirmed this month that a record has been achieved.

"With heated competition in the world to improve the performance of lasers, our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts," said the institute's Junji Kawanaka, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the university.

The development of super powerful lasers has implications for particle physics, the creation of plasma and even potentially for fusion power.

SOURCE  FW: Thinking

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