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Science & Technology

Japan fires the world's most powerful laser

July 29, 2015 | Comment icon 16 comments



The laser is much more powerful than even military grade lasers. Image Credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Adams
Scientists at Osaka University in Japan have managed to fire a two-petawatt laser for one picosecond.
The ridiculously powerful laser, which is known as (LFEX) Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments, measures 300m long and is able to put out a two-quadrillion-watt laser beam.

To put this in to perspective - the types of lasers used by the military on warships to shoot down missiles and drones over a range of several kilometers are only around 50,000 watts.
The reason LFEX can put out a beam so powerful is because it only does so for a tiny fraction of a second meaning that the overall amount of power it uses is not actually that high - probably about enough to run a microwave oven for around two seconds.

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

Source: Popular Science | Comments (16)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by BeastieRunner 7 years ago
Pentawatt ... that's a lot of watts!
Comment icon #8 Posted by grandfunkrailroad 7 years ago
Well at least the Megabot co knows what will be awaiting them
Comment icon #9 Posted by MOSUGOJI 7 years ago
Of course Japan is working on immensely powerful directed energy weapons. They need to equip their giant kaiju fighting mechs with them. And the next step where it;'s an even more powerful beam is obviously going to be used for the wave motion gun when they construct their Space Battleship Yamato.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Hammerclaw 7 years ago
Could it slag incoming thermonuclear warheads at extreme range?
Comment icon #11 Posted by MissJatti 7 years ago
a bit of a buzzing and humming sound, and you got yourself a lightsabre
Comment icon #12 Posted by Paranormalcy 7 years ago
Thanks for posting this! In doing reswarch on this, I see a much more powerful laser is in the works, a collaboration of 13 countries, mostly led by Hungary, Prague, Czech Republic, etc. They won't even have their facilities open til 2018, but it is intended to be far and away the most powerful laser, putting Japan's 2 petawatt laser to shame with 200 petawatts (the heat flux moved away from the equator by earth's oceans and atmosphere). Still, 2 petawatt is half the heat of the entire Gulf Stream - focused in one little beam. Astrounding!
Comment icon #13 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
I think people are overlooking this part of the article: "The reason LFEX can put out a beam so powerful is because it only does so for a tiny fraction of a second meaning that the overall amount of power it uses is not actually that high - probably about enough to run a microwave oven for around two seconds." This is not in any way a weapon system, nor was it ever designed as such. It is however a useful research tool, which is of course what it was allways intended to be ! Some of the ideas might find its way into the much more ambitious HiPER project. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HiPER May... [More]
Comment icon #14 Posted by pallidin 7 years ago
Huh. Well, pulsed lasers do have a significant advantage over CW lasers in certain applications. I guess they both have their place, though.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Paranormalcy 7 years ago
The ELI laser is the one I was referencing. I meant to put a link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_Light_Infrastructure
Comment icon #16 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy 7 years ago
The ELI laser is the one I was referencing. I meant to put a link. https://en.wikipedia..._Infrastructure Didn't know about that one. Very interesting.


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