Scientists at Japan’s Osaka University recently fired what’s being called the world’s most powerful laser beam. Using the university’s 300-foot Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX), they were able to generate a beam measuring 2-petawatts which translates to two trillion watts.
To put that into perspective, it concentrated energy equivalent to 1,000 times the world's electricity consumption which was enough to earn itself a place in the record books as the most powerful laser beam ever emitted.
While incredibly impressive, it’s also worth pointing out that it fired that burst for an extremely short amount of time – just one picoseconds, or one-one trillionth of a second. As a result, it ultimately only emitted enough energy to run a microwave for roughly two seconds.
The team isn’t stopping there, however, as they aspire to create a laser with an output of 10 petawatts.
In lieu of video footage of the 2-petawatt laser in action, I've embedded a clip of a single petawatt laser at the University of Texas at Austin.
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