Saturday, December 11, 2010

World's Most Intense Laser

HERCULES Laser is Most Intense Laser in the Universe, Almost as Powerful as the Death Star

from Gizmodo

HERCULES%20GI.jpg
"If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory." - Physorg
If that doesn't amaze you, you need a slap. The HERCULES laser can produce that intensity instantaneously, and it is said to be the most intense known light in the universe. The beam is sustained for 30 femtoseconds, with one femtosecond being equivalent to a million billionth of a second. So, it lasts longer than you do in bed, and it also performs a little better, too. However, this isn't Dr Robotnik having a wacky time for no use, it is hoped that the research will give rise to powerful cancer treatments, and when we say powerful, we do mean 300 terawatts of power, with an inconceivable, 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter. What is that equivalent to? An astonishing, 300 times the capacity of the U.S. electricity grid. All of that energy is concentrated into a 1.3-micron point, which is roughly 100th the diameter of a human hair.

Victor Yanovsky, who spearheaded the laser's development, says the HERCULES is around two orders more powerful than its nearest competing laser. A beam can be generated once every 10 seconds, and the entire contraption accommodates several rooms, is constructed from titanium-sapphire and the light that enters at one end is processed by mirrors and other optical elements. This results in an increase in the energized quality of focused light.

The high intensity light, beyond medical uses, could also be implemented in crazy physics based procedures called "boiling the vacuum," which will apparently result in spontaneous matter generation. Crazy. Let's hope no one hell-bent on world domination starts attempting to put together a real Death Star, or we'll all be screwed. May the Force be with you. (Note to self: End more articles with that line.) [University of Michigan via Physorg]

From Gizmodo:  here.

4 comments:

Steven Colyer said...

There will be no Death Star. The Laws of Thermodynamics are safe. Matter will most likely be created out of virtual particle "vacuum", but the energy to do so will be tremendous.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steve,



”… we do mean 300 terawatts of power, with an inconceivable, 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter”



Three Hundred Terawatts!!!!, Three Hundred Terawatts!!!!!!!!!!, where are we going to get that kind of power!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Best,

Phil

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Steve,


Then again in comparison to THE FORCE , 300 terawatts or the power of a death star is infinitesimal :-)


Best,

Phil

Steven Colyer said...

Ah, Sir Philip, comparisons between Science and Science Fiction will get you everywhere with me. :-)

Science tells us what we know, or at least what are the next best questions to ask; Sci Fi taps into our creativity and marvelously extrapolates forward in time. There is constant feedback between the two, we being deductive/creative beings. Sci Fi provides the inspirations and questions, Science, the answers, or at least the limits of same.

And what is life if not limiting? Enjoy the ride while it lasts, Phil, I am. :-)