Around three months earlier, we reported that scientists at Ohio State University been planning to test a 500 trillion watt laser. Now, another group of physicists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory‘s National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California have broken the record. The new laser can deliver the highest-power laser shot with a collection of beams delivering more than 500 trillion watts of peak power. At present, this is the most powerful laser in the world.
In an effort to recreate the fusion reaction, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, CA has tried to create some extremely powerful laser shots. Back in March, researchers fired off a 411 terawatt laser shot. And, that has been surpassed by NIF’s latest test shot, fired on July 5. The shot was focused on a 2mm target with an accuracy within one percent of expectations. This shot set a new record. 192 lasers produced more than 500 trillion watts of peak power and 1.85 MJ of ultraviolet laser light. Be noted, the 500 terawatt figure is 12,500 times greater than the demand for electricity in 2006 in Britain.
Richard Petrasso, senior research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said, “For scientists across the nation and the world who, like ourselves, are actively pursuing fundamental science under extreme conditions and the goal of laboratory fusion ignition, this is a remarkable and exciting achievement. The 500 TW shot is an extraordinary accomplishment by the NIF Team, creating unprecedented conditions in the laboratory that hitherto only existed deep in stellar interiors.”