Scientists Develop Record Breaking Laser Pulses with Highest Intensity

Jun, 2021 - By SMI

Scientists Develop Record Breaking Laser Pulses with Highest Intensity

Team at CoReLS, South Korea unlocked this achievement and beat the Hercules laser after working for decades.

South Korean scientists gained a major achievement in physics by developing an ultra high-intensity laser, which breaks all the records. This milestone was pursued by scientists for decades in this field. The laser reaches pulse intensity over 1023 W/cm² due to a high tech optics system, which focuses the beam tightly on a minuscule aim. This would open new opportunities in the field of research right from cancer treatments to astrophysics.

This achievement was unlocked by researchers from South Korea's Center for Relativistic Laser Science (CoReLS), who were putting efforts to beat ‘Hercules’ laser from University of Michigan, which earlier held the record for laser of highest intensity, for around a decade. The capacity of Hercules laser is to produce beams of 1022 W/cm² intensity. For nearly two decades, scientists were endlessly working to up this record and achieve this 1023W/cm² goal. Scientists from CoReLS were now successful in achieving this with the help of 4-petawatt femtosecond ultra-high power laser including a very intricate optical system for amplifying and focusing the beam.

This system consists of range mirrors that are deformable for correcting the distortions and producing a laser that has a wavefront, which is tightly controlled. Then a huge off-axis parabolic mirror is employed for focusing a laser beam of 11 inch (28 cm) on a target of width just 1.1 micron, which is less than even a 50th of diameter of a human’s hair. The team used a wavefront sensor and a camera to measure and image the reflected beam, who's intensity they believe is comparable to focusing the entire sunlight that reaches Earth at a point just 10 micrometer wide. Radiation treatments to treat cancer today include large radiation shields causing high-energy protons created by accelerators; however using these lasers for producing the protons instead can make these treatments cost-effective, and thereby way more accessible.

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