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Japan fires the world's most powerful laser

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Azumi
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« on: August 09, 2015, 05:06:03 pm »

Japan fires the world's most powerful laser
Posted on Wednesday, 29 July, 2015


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.

   
http://www.popsci.com/researchers-japan-fired-worlds-most-powerful-laser
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Azumi
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2015, 05:07:12 pm »





The Asahi Shimbun

The LFEX petawatt laser.
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Azumi
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2015, 05:07:48 pm »

Researchers at Osaka University are claiming to have fired the most powerful laser in the world. The 2-petawatt (two quadrillion watt) pulse lasted just one picosecond (a trillionth of a second).

For a rough comparison, in 2013, a 50 kilowatt (50,000 watt) laser shot down a drone two kilometers away.

Osaka's mega-powerful laser is called LFEX, or Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments, and measures more than 300 feet long.

While two petawatts is a formidable amount of power, the idea of a petawatt laser isn’t new. The United States has a few of their own, notably a one-petawatt laser at the University of Texas at Austin.

Michael Donovan, associate director for the Texas Petawatt, says that it’s important to remember when talking about lasers of this size that, while the power output is immense, the energy used is actually very little.

“The energy of the Texas Petawatt, 150 to 200 Joules, is about that in a cup of coffee or a very hard tennis serve,” Donovan said via email. ”It is the energy used by a 100 watt light bulb in 2 seconds.” Power is energy over time, and since one picosecond is a very small amount of time, the power output turns out to be immense.

The scientists at Osaka University claim that their pulse (2 petawatts at 1 picosecond) is about 100 times the energy of UT Austin’s laser, and twice its peak power.

“Two petawatts, that’s a lot,” said Julio Soares, senior research scientist at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. What could a laser that powerful be used to do? Based on the kinds of experiments done at the National Ignition Facility, which houses a similar high-powered lasers, Soares jokes: “Well, to blow things up.”

We don’t have any footage from the University of Osaka, which is now working on a 10-petawatt laser, but you can check out the Texas Petawatt laser in this video.
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Azumi
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2015, 05:08:57 pm »



Also, it wouldn't be a story about a huge laser if we didn't mention the Death Star blowing up Alderaan. If you want to compare this laser's output to some other calculations, we've rounded up some of the best articles on whether the Death Star really had the juice to blow up a planet.

https://physics.le.ac.uk/journals/index.php/pst/article/view/328/195
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DecoNoir
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 05:14:57 pm »

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.
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I reject your reality, and substitute my own! Mostly because yours is boring as hell.
Warhead
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 05:16:32 pm »

Could it slag incoming thermonuclear warheads at extreme range?
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Iron Lotus
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 05:24:13 pm »

Thanks for posting this! I think people are overlooking this part of the article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HiPER

In doing research 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. Astounding!
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Iron Lotus
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2015, 05:24:56 pm »

The ELI laser is the one I was referencing. I meant to put a link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extreme_Light_Infrastructure
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freetoroam
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2015, 05:27:14 pm »

Well, pulsed lasers do have a significant advantage over CW lasers in certain applications. I guess they both have their place, though.
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