Researchers and scientists from around the world are working in collaboration to produce the world’s most powerful laser which can give new insight into how the cosmos was created. The laser is being built in the Czech Republic and funded by the EU.
The High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) is a laser which will emit a beam that is 100,000 times more powerful than all of Earth’s power stations combined. The beam will have an intensity of 1,023 watts per square centimeter and will last for a very short instant (1/100,00th of a billionth of a second). The laser has been nicknamed the Death Star because of its similarity to Darth Vader’s laser-powered base in Star Wars.
The Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Beamlines project is the lab where HAPLS is being developed and will hopefully be completed by 2017. The system will combine technologies from around the world. HAPL will be made of two interconnected laser systems, designed by US-based Lawrence Livermore Labs, and will require a space of 4.6 by 17 meters, plus an additional 4 square meters for the final laser pulse compressor. It relies on a scheme called “double-chirped pulse amplification” which enables high signal to noise in the output pulses which will seed HAPLS.
HAPLS will deliver extremely short, high-power laser pulses to generate secondary sources of electromagnetic radiation and accelerate charged particles. Scientists are very optimistic that it will enable new scientific discoveries and will provide advancements in the fields of physics, medicine, biology and material sciences.