japan laserWe shudder to think that one day in the future, we could see Death Star-like spaceships helmed by the baddest villains of the universe who go about obliterating planets that don’t bow to them. Actually we might not have to wait too long because over in Japan, scientists in Osaka have recently fired off what can only be described as the world’s most powerful laser.

How powerful are we talking about? The Laser for Fast Ignition Experiment (LFEX) is said to be capable of producing a 2-petawatt laser beam, which just to put it into context, is basically a beam of power equivalent to 1,000 times the world’s total electricity consumption, or so the Japanese scientists claim.

This was capable thanks to the strategic use and placement of glass panels along the 100 meter long device, which helped to amplify the laser’s beam. Now with such a powerful beam, you probably think it will consume a heck load of power, but that isn’t the case. Due to the glass helping amplify the beam’s power, apparently the total amount of energy needed is equivalent to you turning on the microwave for 2 seconds.

However it looks like the researchers are not done yet. According to Osaka University’s Junji Kawanaka, an associate professor of electrical engineering, “With heated competition in the world to improve the performance of lasers, our goal now is to increase our output to 10 petawatts.” Now how many of you guys read this piece to the tune of Star Wars’ The Imperial March?

[Image credit – The Asahi Shimbun]

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