Scientists have developed the most intense laser ever made. The beam of light distributes a full 1023 W/cm2, which is equivalent to concentrating the full sunlight in the shape of a small office desk. And yes, the desk will be decimated in absolutely conditional condition. The achievement, published in the journal Optica, is more than ten times the intensity achieved at the University of Michigan in 2004.
Two important things are needed to create an ultra-sharp laser beam. You need to have a very powerful laser and you need to be able to focus it on very small areas. The team from the Relative Laser Science (CORLS) team at the Institute for Basic Sciences (IBS) in South Korea was able to do both. They used a pulsating laser with a power output of 4 petawatts (1015 or 1,000 trillion watts). It is one of the most powerful in the world, and researchers are already imagining something a thousand times more powerful. Creating powerful lasers is a complete enterprise in itself but concentrating lasers in a small area is a much bigger task.
The laser beam needs to be distorted at all because even a small amount can have a big effect. The team used an off-axis parabolic mirror to thicken a 28-centimeter (11-inch) laser beam across an area of about 1.1 microns. Even with all the highly sophisticated setups Air Turbulence and Beam Pointing were able to change the intensity of the peak by about 20 percent. The University of Michigan has more than twice the energy intensity of a 2004 laser.
This achievement is not only provocative from a technical point of view. Particles created by such intense lasers may allow the investigation of extreme physical phenomena at the very edge of physics and astronomy. Professor Nam Chang Hee, director of CoReLS said in a statement, “This work shows that the CoReLS PW laser is the most powerful laser in the world.”
“With the highest laser intensity ever achieved, we can tackle new challenging fields of experimental science, especially the powerful field quantum electrodynamics (QWD) that has been largely tackled by theorists and photon-photon scattering in nonlinear regimes (Brit-Wheeler’s process)