Scientists from the University of Michigan are going to start the most powerful laser in the country. With a maximum of 3 petawatts, it will be able to simulate a laser a million times more powerful.
Scientists are preparing to start a new laserlaser who will be the most powerful in the United States. The University of Michigan has just completed the constructionconstruction from Zettawatt-Equivalent Ultrashort pulse laser System (Zeus), which is the successor to the Hercules laser with a power of 0.5 petawatts.
Contrary to what its name indicates, the maximum power of Zeus is 3 petawatts (or three million gigawatts). However, it will be used to simulate a power of one zettawatt (one million petawatts) by aiming a beam ofelectronselectrons at high energyenergy directed in the opposite direction. Researchers are particularly interested in fundamental research on the physicalphysical plasmas and particle accelerators.
The new Zeus laser is the most powerful in the United States. (In English, turn on automatic translation of subtitles.) © University of Michigan
A first study on a new technology for X-rays
Zeus emits ultrashort pulses, of the order of 15 femtosecondsfemtoseconds, or 15 millionths of a nanosecond. The first study will use only one percent of the total laser power, or 30 terawatts. Scientists plan to send laser pulses infraredinfrared in theheliumhelium at thegaseous stategaseous state to turn it into plasma. From there they can create impulses of X-raysX-rays extremely short, which should make it possible to carry out x-raysx-rays with much lower doses of X-rays than current techniques.
Other projects should follow, gradually increasing the power of the laser. In particular, scientists have planned to increase to 500 terawatts at the end of thefallfallthen to full power by fall 2023.