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Most powerful lasers?

  1. Sep 21, 2005 #1

    EL

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    Science Advisor

    I'd like to know where I can find the most powerful laser systems in the world right now. Anyone who's into this?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2005 #2

    russ_watters

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    It depends a little on what type of laser you're asking about, but the Airborne Laser and related systems are megawatt class lasers.
     
  4. Sep 21, 2005 #3

    EL

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    Thanks, interesting. What I'm most interested in is high power lasers (peta watt regime) and high frequency lasers. In fact I want to find a laser with as high (power*frequency) as possible...
     
  5. Sep 21, 2005 #4
    I believe that the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a Petawatt class laser for it's fusion experiments. Lawrence Livermore had another one before that was shut down in the late 90s. I believe that when dealing with this class of lasers that the duty cycle is probably fairly long and that the laser doesn't fire with very high frequency. I could be wrong though.
     
  6. Sep 21, 2005 #5

    EL

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    Thanks! Impressing system.
    I found this: http://www.llnl.gov/nif/project/news_nel1.html , i.e. a power of about 3 TW. It's capable of fireing just a few times a day.
    But you say they have a PW laser too?
     
  7. Sep 22, 2005 #6
    Could we use any of these lasers to write our name on the moon? Perhaps give the moon the face of a beautiful woman?
     
  8. Sep 23, 2005 #7
    LLNL had a Petawatt class laser that they shut down in 1999. I am under the impression that NIF would be at or near Petawatt class when it is done, but it could be the total of the 192 beam lines that gives that power.
     
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