ANN ARBOR, Mich – In an effort to improve the American competitiveness of high intensity laser research, the Energy Department…
ANN ARBOR, Mich – In an effort to improve the American competitiveness of high intensity laser research, the Energy Department has established LaserNetUS, a $ 6.8 million initiative involving the University of Michigan – one of the field’s pioneers.
High-intensity lasers have a wide range of applications in basic research, manufacturing and medicine. The new network, consisting of six universities and three national laboratories that operate high intensity lasers, contains some that can exceed a petawatt or billion watts.
Petawatt lasers generate light with almost 1
00 times the output of all the world’s power plants – but only in the shortest flaws. Using the technology driven by two of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics, called chirped pulse amplification, these lasers of ultra-frequency rays shed shorter than one tenth of trillionth second.
U-M will receive $ 1 million through the initiative to give time to the HERCULES laser, the ruling world champion of laser intensity at 20seconds (2×1022) watts per centimeter. The HERCULES laser undergoes a power upgrade from 300 trillion watt to 500 trillion or a petawatt. It should double or triple its intensity as well.
“While experimenting with HERCULES has made many discoveries over the past decade, the plant is not going as much as possible. LaserNet will help expand this expanding research area by providing access to HERCULES for researchers from outside of University of Michigan, says Karl Krushelnick, head of the Center for Ultrafast Optical Science.
One of the newest Nobel priests is CUOS founder Gerard Mourou, A.D. Moore Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, a computer science at U-M. He proposed HERCULES to the National Science Foundation 2000 and initiated laser construction.
High-intensity lasers like HERCULES and the others in the network have a wide range of applications in basic research, manufacturing and medicine. For example, they can recreate some of the most extreme conditions in the universe, such as those found in supernova explosions and near black holes. They can generate high energy particles for physics research or intensive X-ray pulses to search for ultralight processes, such as those present in atoms. They also promise to generate intensive neutron crashes that can form aged aircraft parts, cut material accurately or deliver highly focused radiation therapy to cancer tumors.
USA was the dominant innovator and user of high intensity laser technology in the 1990s, but now Europe and Asia have taken the lead, according to a recently published report from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine entitled “Opportunites in Intense Ultrafast Lasers: Now for the brightest light. “
Currently, 80-90 percent of the world’s high-intensity ultrasound blaster systems are abroad, and all the top power research lasers currently designed or already built are also abroad. The author of the report recommended to establish as a national network of laser facilities to imitate successful efforts in Europe.
LaserNetUS institutions were formed for that exact purpose. The network will hold a nationwide call for access to its facilities, and the proposals will be reviewed by an independent panel. This call will allow researchers in the United States to have time on one of the high-intensity lasers at LaserNetUS host institutions.
The LaserNetUS Institute is U-M, University of Texas, Ohio State University, Colorado State University, University of Nebraska, University of Rochester, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The funding comes from DOE’s Fusion Energy Sciences program at the Swedish Science Agency.
The National Science Foundation is funding the HERCULES upgrade. Krushelnick is also a professor of nuclear engineering and radiology, electrical engineering and computer science and physics.
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