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Scientists have created the most powerful laser to date
The 20 tonne “super laser” produces a 1,000-watt average power outage, which the team behind it state is a world record.
Dubbed the ‘high peak power laser’, it has revolutionary potential for uses in engineering, hardening metal surfaces, processing semiconductors – made out of materials used to partly conduct currents and is used in items such as computer chips – and micro machining materials.
Britain's Central Laser Facility (CLF) and a Czech state research and development group HiLASE (High average power pulsed laser) created the device, which they have called “Bijov” after a mythical Czech strongman.
CLF director John Collier said: "It is a world record which is important.
The 'Super Laser'
"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.”
HiLASE director Tomas Mocek added the machine broke the “magical barrier” of 1,000 watts in December.
The shape of the beam
He continued: "It's a huge step forward, like an Olympic victory.”
However, the team concede other lasers do have a higher peak power, such as the one-petawatt – with a petawatt equal to one million billion watts – Texas Petawatt Laser in Austin and the two-petawatt Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX) in Japan.
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The scientists described is a "a world record" laser
Mr Mocek said that although those lasers do "have a very high peak power" they can only reach it "several times a day".
He added: "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."