Japanese scientists claim to have successfully test fired the world’s most powerful laser, the two petawatt Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX), inside of a laboratory in Japan.
The ultra-powerful laser, which is roughly 300 feet long, emits a beam which is nearly the equivalent to 1,000 times the amount of energy consumed by the world each each second.
While the researchers claim that the LFEX’s output is massive, the team at Osaka University, where the laser is located, only shot off enough power to run a microwave for a couple of seconds. Still, in that one-trillionth of a second when the laser was firing, its instantaneous output was allegedly massive: 2 quadrillion-watts.
To put this in perspective, Lockheed Martin managed to blast a hole in a truck and disable its engine as well as its drive train while field testing its 30,000-watt ATHENA laser.
Junji Kawanaka, an associate professor of electrical engineering at Osaka University’s Institute of Laser Engineering, was quoted in the university’s announcement as having said that their goal is to increase their “ouput to 10 petawatts” in light of “heated competition” around the world.
With heated competition in the world to improve the performance of lasers, our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts
The researchers employed what university staff writer Tatsuyuki Kobori described as “basically lamps resembling ordinary fluorescent tubes,” which were used to repeatedly amplify the beam’s power. The amplified energy was then applied to “special glass” in order to achieve what the team claims to have been a new record.
According to Phys.org, the Japanese university first discussed the LFEX in a paper published back in 2012 in the journal Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion.
In other Japanese laser related coverage here at Immortal News, an international team of researchers led by Japan’s Riken research institute have proposed a solution to space trash: mount a fiber optic CAN laser to the International Space Station (ISS) and use it to blast the debris out of orbit.