World’s Most Powerful Laser Posts Milestone

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MAGURELE, Romania, Oct. 20, 2020 — Engineers of the dual-arm, 10-PW laser system housed in the Extreme Light Infrastructure—Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) facility in Magurele, Romania, reported an operational milestone when an amplified pulse of 230 J passed through its final pulse compression stage. In operation, the pulse turned the 900-ns pulse into 23 femtoseconds. The pulse propagated 30 m of beam transport optics, the engineering team said, directed through the facility’s experimental halls.

In less than one hour, the system, reported to be the most powerful in the world, achieves maximum energy. Work is currently underway on the facility to commission experiments and international collaborations. The ELI-NP team said it expects these experiments to span the next few years, coinciding with the opening of the complex to the public.

Two beamlines combine to provide the laser system’s 10-PW output; the value corresponds to more than 10% of the total power Earth receives from the sun.

The infrastructure, part of the pan-European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project, aims to support research and investigation in multiple areas of physics, and applications in nuclear materials and the life sciences. Additional facilities supporting ELI are in the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Published: October 2020
Research & TechnologyBusinessRomaniaELI-NPLaserslaser amplificationhigh powerhigh powered laserEuropeFacilityfacility openingEuropean Extreme Light Infrastructure-Nuclear Physics Project

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