Brits, Czechs claim world's most powerful 'super laser'

January 24, 2017
Scientists work with a fully Diode Pumped Solid State Laser designed and constructed in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory of the laser center HiLASE in Dolni Brezany, Prague, on January 23, 2017

A team of British and Czech scientists on Tuesday said they had successfully tested a "super laser" they claim is 10 times more powerful than any other of its kind on the planet.

The so-called "high peak power " has a 1,000-watt average power output, a benchmark of sustained, high-energy pulses.

It has revolutionary potential in engineering, for hardening metal surfaces, processing semiconductors and micro-machining material.

The device was developed by Britain's Central Laser Facility (CLF) and HiLASE (High average power pulsed laser), a Czech state research and development project.

"It is a world record which is important," CLF director John Collier told AFP.

"It is good for putting things on the map, but the more important point is that the underlying technology that has been developed here is going to transform the application of these high power, high energy lasers," Collier added.

Named "Bivoj" after a mythical Czech strongman, the laser is "10 times as powerful" as any other of its type currently in use, HiLASE physicist Martin Divoky told AFP at the testing facility in Dolni Brezany near Prague.

HiLASE director Tomas Mocek told AFP that Bivoj broke the "magical barrier" of 1,000 watts in output on December 16, setting a for lasers of its type.

"It's a huge step forward, like an Olympic victory," he added.

Weighing in at around 20 tonnes and costing 44 million euros ($48 million), Bivoj will have applications in the aeronautics, automotive and power sectors, according to the CLF and HiLASE specialists.

Mocek told AFP that Bivoj was fundamentally different from so-called peak power lasers.

There are two behemoths of this kind—the one-petawatt Texas Petawatt Laser in Austin and the two-petawatt Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX) in Osaka, Japan. One petawatt equals one million billion watts

Those lasers "have a very high peak power, but they can only reach it several times a day," Mocek said.

"They do not have so-called 'average power'. This is a combination of the repetition rate and the energy. Our laser has the highest average power, which is important. The repetition rate in Osaka and Austin is significantly lower."

Its creators say they hope to explore the laser's potential during tests planned at the Dolni Brezany facility later this month.

Mocek told AFP that there are also plans to commercialise the laser in the second half of the year.

Explore further: World-largest petawatt laser completed, delivering 2,000 trillion watts output

Related Stories

Most powerful laser in the world fires up

April 8, 2008

The Texas Petawatt laser reached greater than one petawatt of laser power on Monday morning, March 31, making it the highest powered laser in the world, Todd Ditmire, a physicist at The University of Texas at Austin, said.

Japanese team fires world's most powerful laser

July 29, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers and engineers at Japan's Osaka University is reporting that they have successfully fired what they are claiming is the world's most powerful laser. In their paper published in the journal ...

Recommended for you

How community structure affects the resilience of a network

June 22, 2018

Network theory is a method for analyzing the connections between nodes in a system. One of the most compelling aspects of network theory is that discoveries related to one field, such as cellular biology, can be abstracted ...

The pho­to­elec­tric ef­fect in stereo

June 22, 2018

In the photoelectric effect, a photon ejects an electron from a material. Researchers at ETH have now used attosecond laser pulses to measure the time evolution of this effect in molecules. From their results they can deduce ...

Water can be very dead, electrically speaking

June 21, 2018

In a study published in Science this week, the researchers describe the dielectric properties of water that is only a few molecules thick. Such water was previously predicted to exhibit a reduced electric response but it ...

8 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

dirk_bruere
3 / 5 (2) Jan 24, 2017
So? 1kW average power lasers have been around for years
Guy_Underbridge
5 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2017
DIrk, as the article alludes, it's the average of the pulse power/recycle time.
dirk_bruere
Jan 24, 2017
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
NoStrings
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 24, 2017
Guy_Underbridge, I am with dirk. Any serious manufacturing facility has CO2 lasers with over 1kW continuous output for metal cutting. I have seen 5 kW. They weigh way less than 20 tonn, and sure don't cost 44 mil.
I guess they make one with very - very - very short pulse, and they missed to mention a real number in it, maybe 20 petaWatt in the peak power? And if it can pulse once per second, 1000 Joules per pulse? Or 10 pulses per second with 100 Joules per?

Whatever. This summary article is big on hype, sucks on detail.

Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Jan 24, 2017
A record may have been set here, but the authors need to be more clear on exactly what that is because this does not make much sense.

https://en.wikipe...e_System

http://www.laserf...ure.html
Osiris1
not rated yet Jan 25, 2017
Here we go. Scale it up for free electron laser....super laser initiated fusion!!
Pooua
5 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2017
"10 times more powerful than any other of its kind on the planet" And what kind of laser is that? The article keeps repeating this claim without ever answering that obvious question. Fortunately, I found this and other details in a two year-old article in "The Engineer":

"The new machine is called DiPOLE – or Diode Pumped Optical Laser for Experiments

"The machine is a diode-pumped solid state laser (DPSSL)

"'The key with this laser is we can generate very high pulse energies but we can also run at 10Hz repetition, or 10 shots per second.

"'It means a 100J laser gives us 1kW of average power – that is a huge amount of average power for a laser that is also capable of delivering 10GW of peak power," said Allott."

https://www.theen...esearch/
Guy_Underbridge
5 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2017
Nostrings, Dirk, I used to program and maintain several CO2 and Nd:YAG industrial cutting lasers, some of which were well over 1KW CW, so I'm not unfamiliar with the subject. This laser is not CW, but Pulsed. From the article:
There are two behemoths of this kind—the one-petawatt Texas Petawatt Laser in Austin and the two-petawatt Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX) in Osaka, Japan.

Those lasers "have a very high peak power, but they can only reach it several times a day," Mocek said.

"They do not have so-called 'average power'. This is a combination of the repetition rate and the energy. Our laser has the highest average power, which is important. The repetition rate in Osaka and Austin is significantly lower."

But I will agree they could have given a few more details to make it clearer...

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.