Researchers Discovered A Latest Method To Supercharge Lasers By A Million times

Scientists from the University of Strathclyde, Ulsan National Institute of Science & Technology (UNIST), and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) have suggested a easy concept to revolutionize the upcoming generation of lasers. 

They proposed using the gradient in the density of plasma, which is totally ionized matter, to cause photons to bunch together. This is similar to the way when a group of cars bunches up as they encounter a vertical hill. 

If this method is successful, it could rise the energy of lasers by more than one million times from what is achievable at present.

The strongest lasers in the world have a top power nearly ten petawatts. A latest 20 petawatt laser known as the “Vulcan 20-20” is presently under construction at STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

To put this into view, the earth’s upper atmosphere receives 173 petawatts (173 x 10^15 W) of sunshine, about one-third of which arrives at Earth’s floor. 

A petawatt is equal to 10^15 watts, an exawatt is equal to 10^18 watts, and a zettawatt is equal to 10^21 watts. The sun generates 4 x 10^26 watts of power, equivalent to 400,000 zettawatts.

“A significant and basic question is what happens when light intensities increase levels that are usual on earth. 

High-power lasers permit researchers to answer common questions on the nature of matter and the vacuum and figure out what is known as the intensity frontier,” described Professor Dino Jaroszynski of the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Physics.

“Applying terawatt to petawatt lasers to matter has allowed the growth of next-generation laser-plasma accelerators, which are many thousand times smaller than conventional accelerators. Providing latest equipment for researchers is converting the way science is done. 

The new laser amplifying method will contribute physicists find some basic aspects of interest, from the so-called “intensity frontier” to being capable to take out particles from a vacuum. 

The study has applications in astrophysics by simulating stellar phenomena and labeling energy problems through laser fusion research. It could also considered helpful in pushing our knowledge of the Schwinger limit. This is a theoretical point where light can be changed into matter, with immense theoretical and practical implications.

Min Sip Hur of UNIST added that “the consequences of this study are desired to be applicable in several fields, along with advanced theoretical physics and astrophysics. It can also be utilized in laser fusion research to help address the energy problems facing humanity. Our combined Korean and UK group think to experimentally test the concepts in the lab.”

“Plasma can play a role like traditional diffraction gratings in CPA systems but is a material that cannot be destroyed. 

It will, therefore, intensify traditional CPA technology by involving a very easy add-on.” He added, “Even with plasma of a few centimeters in size, it can be utilized for lasers with top powers exceeding an exawatt,” said Professor Hyyong Suk of GIST.

“Recognizing the nature of matter and vacuum at intensities above 1024 W/cm2 are one of the major issues of modern physics. High-power lasers also allow the research of the astrophysical phenomena in the laboratory, giving unusual glimpses into the interior of stars and the [universe’s origin],” describes Strathclyde University.