Japan fires world’s most-powerful laser beam

Published time: 30 Jul, 2015 09:42

Scientists at the Osaka University have shot the world’s most powerful laser beam, they claim. The pulse measured 2 petawatts delivered over 1 picosecond.

The record-breaking beam was shot by Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX), a 100-meter-long apparatus that had been upgraded with four amplification devices at the end of last year.

LFEX only used several hundred Joules of energy – enough to run a microwave or a 100-watt light bulb for about two seconds – to achieve the record. But the energy was delivered over the short period of one-trillionth of a second, resulting in the high power output. The team is already working on further increasing the laser’s performance.

"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.

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