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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Laser will be 100,000 times more powerful than all of Earth's power stations combined

Nicknamed the "Death Star," after Darth Vader's planet-destroying satellite in "Star Wars," a new space system currently being built will be the most powerful laser ever created. Called the High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System, or HAPLS, the space station will emit 100,000 times more power than all the power stations in the world - for a tiny fraction of a second.

The laser technology will enable many applications in physics, medicine, biology, and materials science.

The laser technology will enable many applications in physics, medicine, biology, and materials science.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/6/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Death Star, Laser, space station


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The HAPLS could give researchers incredible new insights into how the cosmos was created.

Designed to eventually generate a peak power greater than 1 petawatt, or 1015 or 1 quadrillion watts, each pulse will deliver 30 joules of energy in less than 30 femtoseconds, trillionths of a second or 0.00000000000003 seconds. Essentially, the time it takes light to travel a fraction of the width of a human hair.

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Eventually, the laser system will deliver these pulses of light at 10 hertz, or 10 repetitions per second.

The Extreme Light Infrastructure or ELI Beamlines project is a European Union-funded lab being developed with scientists from around the world. Among those involved are the Lawrence Livermore lab in the United States, and being built in the Czech Republic.

Set to be put into effect by 2017, it will emit a short laser burst with an intensity of 1023 watts per square centimeter.

"ELI will become the first international laser research facility, much like a 'CERN for laser research,' hosting some of the world's most powerful lasers enabling a new era of unique research opportunities for users from all countries," Professor Wolfgang Sandner, director general of the ELI-Delivery Consortium International Association says.
 
Combining technologies from across Europe and around the world, the "death star" relies on a scheme referred to as "double-chirped pulse amplification," which enables high signal to noise in the output pulses which will seed HAPLS.

"HAPLS's high repetition rate will make possible new scientific discoveries," Livermore physicist and HAPLS project manager Constantin Haefner says.

"While scientists have long performed experiments with powerful single-shot lasers, they have never had an opportunity to repeat experiments at 10 times per second."

HAPLS will deliver ultra short, high-energy laser pulses for generating secondary sources of electromagnetic radiation (such as high-brightness x-rays) and accelerating charged particles.

The laser technology will enable many applications in physics, medicine, biology, and materials science.

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