Jul 292015

World’s most powerful laser beam blasts out from Osaka

The power output of this laser is said to be 1,000 times that of the entire worlds electrical consumption. The way it works is to concentrate all the energy of the shot into a single burst lasting a ridiculously short period… one picosecond. The total energy is only a few hundred joules.

The goal is to raise the power to 10 petawatts, or 10 quadrillion watts.

 Posted by at 8:10 am
  • Sonya

    Our apologies for posting something irrelevant in this post, Scott. We weren’t sure how to contact you.
    I found some interesting photos about the old Soviet shuttle that is sitting away at Baikonur. We thought you might find it interesting (assuming you haven’t already seen them…)
    Dave and Sonya

  • Siergen

    But will it be powerful enough to stop the Angels…

    • Scottlowther

      I’m not really well versed in baseball, but I don;t seem to recall the Angels being all that terribly successful.

  • James

    so…..what your saying is…its over 9,000?

    • Scottlowther

      Bigger than a breadbox.

  • brightlight

    I wonder what the power range would be if you used a series of solar collectors in space that concentrated on a single focusing mirror. Probably would need to be actively cooled but you could have fun with it.

    • Paul451

      You can’t focus sunlight beyond a certain point because the light is diverging by half a degree at this distance.

      The formula to use is: W = D * tan(A)

      W = Minimum possible width of focus :: D = Distance between mirror and target :: A = Sun’s angular diameter at mirror (degrees)

      At 1 AU, A is 0.5 degrees. So tan(A) is ~0.00873. For a mirror array in LEO, your minimum distance to a ground target is, say, 300km. (Unless the target is directly underneath, the actual distance will be much greater. Thousands of km.)

      For a 300km focal depth, at 1AU, minimum focal width of the sun is:

      W = 300,000 meters * tan(0.5 degrees)
      W = 2.6 kilometres (1.6mi)

      There’s no technology, no mirror shape or special pattern that can reduce that focal size any further.