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

Scientists work with a fully Diode Pumped Solid State Laser designed and constructed in the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory of th
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.


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Citation: Brits, Czechs claim world's most powerful 'super laser' (2017, January 24) retrieved 22 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-brits-czechs-world-powerful-super.html
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Jan 24, 2017
So? 1kW average power lasers have been around for years

Jan 24, 2017
DIrk, as the article alludes, it's the average of the pulse power/recycle time.

Jan 24, 2017
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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

Jan 25, 2017
Here we go. Scale it up for free electron laser....super laser initiated fusion!!

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/

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...

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