April 13, 2024

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The most powerful laser in the world generates enough energy to light 100 million homes for a year

The most powerful laser in the world generates enough energy to light 100 million homes for a year

In 2018, Frenchman Gerard Moreau and Canadian Donna Strickland won the Nobel Prize in Physics for harnessing the power of lasers for advanced precision instruments in corrective eye surgery and in various areas of the space industry. Part of the progress came as a result of overcoming an obstacle that emerged in the mid-1980s: scientists They couldn't increase the power of the laser without destroying what amplifies the beam..

To solve this problem, Morrow and Strickland's team developed a technique called chirp pulse amplification (CPA), which increases energy while maintaining intensity. Its operation is “simple”: An ultrashort laser pulse is stretched over time, amplifying and compressing it againcreating very short, but at the same time very intense, laser pulses, the most powerful ever recorded.

It has already been applied in corrective eye surgery, but it has also paved the way for scientists to continue Pushing the limits of laser power In cancer treatment, space decontamination, nuclear waste disposal, or nuclear fusion.

“We will use these ultra-powerful pulses to produce more compact and less expensive particle accelerators to destroy cancer cells – Moreau says. -. Beside The last century was the electron century, and the twenty-first century will be the laser centuryOther potential applications include treating nuclear waste by reducing the duration of its radioactivity or cleaning up debris that accumulates in space.

The laser, located in Bucharest, Romania, is capable of reaching 10 petawatt peak for a very short periodOn the order of a femtosecond (one billionth of a second).

450 tons of carefully installed equipment were needed to achieve this performance, at a total cost of €320 million. The energy generated by this laser Opposite to use One-year air conditioning in 50 million homes Or electricity for 100 million homes for a year.

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