A team of scientists comprising British and Czech researchers claimed to have developed world's most powerful 1,000-watt 'super laser.' They said they have successfully tested the super laser and claim that it is 10 times more powerful than any other of its kind on the Earth.
The "high peak power laser" boasts a 1,000-watt average power output, which is a benchmark of sustained, high-energy pulses.
The super laser has potential in engineering, for hardening metal surfaces, processing semiconductors and micro-machining material.
Britain's Central Laser Facility (CLF) and HiLASE (High average power pulsed laser), a Czech state research and development project developed the device.
"It is a world record which is important," CLF director John Collier told AFP.
"It is good for putting things on the map, but the more important point is that the underlying technology that has been developed here is going to transform the application of these high power, high energy lasers," Collier added.
The laser is named 'Bivoj' after a mythical Czech strongman. The Bivoj is "10 times as powerful" as any other of its kind currently in use, HiLASE physicist Martin Divoky told AFP at the testing facility in Dolni Brezany near Prague.
On December 16, Bivoj broke the "magical barrier" of 1,000 watts in output, setting a world record for lasers of its type, HiLASE director Tomas Mocek told AFP.
"It's a huge step forward, like an Olympic victory," he added.
The laser weighs around 20 tonnes and costs 44 million euros ($48 million). According to the CLF and HiLASE specialists, it will be used in the aeronautics, automotive and power sectors.
Bivoj was fundamentally different from so-called peak power lasers, Mocek told AFP. There are two behemoths of this kind -- the one-petawatt Texas Petawatt Laser in Austin and the two-petawatt Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments (LFEX) in Osaka, Japan. One petawatt equals one million billion watts.
Those lasers "have a very high peak power, but they can only reach it several times a day," Mocek said.
"They do not have so-called 'average power'. This is a combination of the repetition rate and the energy. Our laser has the highest average power, which is important. The repetition rate in Osaka and Austin is significantly lower."
Its creators say they hope to explore the laser's potential during tests planned at the Dolni Brezany facility later this month.
Mocek told AFP that there are also plans to commercialise the laser in the second half of the year.