Japanese Laboratory Fires World's Most Powerful Laser

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Caroline Reid

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1399 Japanese Laboratory Fires World's Most Powerful Laser

A new laser, claimed to have been fired within a laboratory in Japan, is the most powerful on Earth.

The laser is situated in Osaka University and is called the Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments or LFEX. The mighty megalaser is roughly 100 meters (300 feet) long. 


The laser emits a staggering amount of power: two petawatts or two quadrillion watts, which is equivalent to nearly 1,000 times the total of the world's electricity consumption per second. The energy of the laser beam is so vast that the laser has entered the record books as the most powerful laser ever fired, according to the researchers. The second most powerful, the Texas Petawatt Laser, emits only half the amount of power of the LFEX laser.

You may think that producing such a staggering amount of energy would require an earth-shattering amount of power. It turns out that the energy required is closer to that needed to run a microwave for two seconds, according to a statement released from the university. The only difference is that this energy, instead of being spread out over two seconds, is condensed to a time of one picosecond (a trillionth of a second). The incredible final energy of the laser beam requires the assistance of four amplifiers: glass lamps that resemble fluorescent tubes.

The researchers have been running experiments continuously for the last month to confirm the power of the laser. Currently, there are only reports from the researchers that the laser has been fired and the results are unpublished, so we'll have to sit tight for footage.

Now that the team has achieved firing the world's most powerful laser, they are going to set the bar even higher.


"With heated competition in the world to improve the performance of lasers, our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts," said Jyunji Kawanaka, from Osaka University.


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