Thursday, August 2, 2012

Super Powerful Laser Debuts


BELLA petawatt laser at LBL
BELLA laser. Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Blink and you’ll miss it. Don’t blink, and you’ll still miss it.
Imagine a device capable of delivering more power than all of the world’s electric plants. But this is not a prop for the next James Bond movie. A new laser at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was put through its paces July 20, delivering pulses with a petawatt of power once per second. A petawatt is 1015 watts, or 1,000,000,000,000,000 watts—about 400 times as much as the combined instantaneous output of all the world’s electric plants.


Source: Scientific American Magazine


Glenn A. Walsh, Project Director,
Friends of the Zeiss < >
Electronic Mail - < >
  < >
Twitter: < >
Facebook: < >
Blog: < >
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
  < >
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
  < >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries:
  < >
* Civil War Museum of Andrew Carnegie Free Library:
  < >
* Duquesne Incline cable-car railway, Pittsburgh:
  < >
* Public Transit:
  < >

1 comment:

  1. 1/400 of 10^15 watts is 2.5 TW (terawatts), but electricity is not produced at 100% efficiency; the typical values range from 30% to 40%. This implies that the fuel being burned to produce electricity globally is about 6 to 8 TW. At 8 TW, that would be HALF of ALL energy used by mankind, which is way off. See