British and Czech scientists have created a new super laser that according to them is the most powerful pulse laser of today.
This laser, named Bijov, was developed by Britain’s Central Laser Facility (CLF) and Czech research and development project HiLASE (high average power pulsed laser). Bijov weighs 22 tons and was named after a mythical Czech strongman. It cost $48 million to build.
Bijov can output and average power of 1,000 watts, which is a world record for pulse laser. It first reached this power late last year on December 16, 2016. According to HiLASE physicist Martin Divoky, Bijov is “10 times as powerful” as any other laser of the same type.
BIJOV, THE SUPER LASER
There are some pulse lasers that have a peak power output of over a trillion watts. An example of this is the one petawatt (one million billion watts) Texas Petawatt Laser. Another is the two petawatt Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX) in Osaka, Japan. However, These outputs are only possible because these lasers build up power before releasing it in a single very short burst and it requires long charging cycles between shots.
Therefore, even though these lasers can achieve very high outputs, they are only able to do so a few times per day. As for Bijov, it is able to fire more frequently.
According to HiLASE director Tomas Mocek to AFP, “They do not have so-called ‘average power.’ This is a combination of the repetition rate and the energy. Our laser has the highest average power, which is important. The repetition rate in Osaka and Austin is significantly lower.”
Achieving this world record for a pulse laser is truly a breakthrough, and this breakthrough signifies that we now have the kind of technology that is capable to “transform the application of high power, high energy lasers,” according to DLF director John Collier. This new super laser can prove to revolutionary for fields like engineering wherein the laser could be used to harden different metal surfaces, processing of semiconductors, or when they micro-machine materials.
The research team hopes that they will soon be able to commercialize the laser later this year and has tests that are scheduled for the end of the month, wherein they will be studying further the laser’s potential.