Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The most intense laser pulse in the universe

The people on HERCULES laser at the University of Michigan has claimed to have created the most intense laser pulse in the universe.

The record-setting beam measures 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter. It contains 300 terawatts of power, about 300 times the capacity of the entire US electricity grid. The laser beam’s power is concentrated to a 1.3-µm speck about 100th the diameter of a human hair. To achieve this beam, the research team added another amplifier to HERCULES (high-energy repetitive CUOS laser system) laser system, which previously operated at 50 terawatts.

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