Imagine devices capable of delivering more energy than power plants around the world. A new laser at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory was invented on July 20th. This laser produces 1.000.000.000.000.000 watts. This is 400 times more than the output from all power plants in the world.
How is this possible? The pulse of a laser accelerator is extremely powerful and extremely short. Each petawatt explosion lasts only 40 femtoseconds or 0.00000000000004 seconds. The laser produces one short pulse per second, the average power of the laser is about 40 watts.
The Department of Energy plans to use a powerful laser to build a very compact particle accelerator using a process called laser wake acceleration, boosting electron acceleration for use in colliders.
Electron beams are already being used to create bright X-ray pulses for high-speed image processing. An intense laser pulse can ionize gas atoms, separating electrons from protons to produce plasma. And a laser carved wave in the plasma, speeding them out almost at the speed of light.