Japan fires world's most powerful laser to produce energy equal to 1,000 times the planet's power consumption
Japan claims to have fired the most powerful laser ever created. Researchers in Osaka were able to produce a 2-petawatt laser beam using a device known as the Laser for Fast Ignition Experiment (LFEX).
The power of the 'Death Star'-like beam is equivalent to 1,000 times the world's total electricity consumption, the scientists claim.
While it produced a huge amount of power, the energy required for the beam itself is equivalent to that needed to power a microwave for two seconds.
The team were able to produce such a high output from low energy by only firing the laser beam for 1 pico-second, or a trillionth of a second.
To amplify the beam's power, energy was applied to strategically-placed glass panels along the 328ft (100 metre)-long LFEX device.
These glass lamps were able focus the beam to boost its energy as it passed through.
The device produced a 2-petawatt - or 2 quadrillion-watt - laser beam.
This is equivalent to 1,000 times the world's electricity consumption.
To put that in context, Rheinmetall Defense was recently able to shoot a drone down a mile away using a 50kW laser.
The 50kW laser was 10 billion times less powerful that the one used in Japan.
Up until today's announcement, the world has only ever within a 1-pettawatt laser created by the University of Texas, Austin.
'With heated competition in the world to improve the performance of lasers, our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts,' said the institute's Junji Kawanaka, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the university
To put that into context, according to Popular Science, a 50,000 watt laser successfully took down a drone just a mile away.
That 50kW laser was 10 billion times less powerful that the one used in Japan.
Up until today's announcement, the world has only ever witnessed a 1-pettawatt laser created by the University of Texas, Austin.