Friday, April 29, 2011

Science Friday: Lasers More Powerful than The World's Power Output

The Czech Republic just became every laser enthusiast's dream. You know why? The European Commission has just cleared a plan to build three lasers that, for a fraction of a second, are 100 times more powerful than the entire world's power usage.
This laser array, made up of three lasers with room for a fourth, will each generate 10 petawatts of power for 1.5x10^14 seconds. That means that for an extremely short amount of time, these lasers will be able to actually rip the fabric of space, possibly generating virtual particles theorized in quantum theory. The fourth, to be possibly built later, will combine TEN of the lasers like the ones in the first three, generating a whopping 200 petawatts, or 2*10e18 watts. Thats 1176 nuclear bombs. In under one picosecond. That is a lot of power.

Next stop, Death Star!

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