Czech and UK Scientists Create Record Setting Bivoj Superlaser
Ron Perillo / 4 years ago
A team of scientists from the HiLASE Research institute in Dolní Břežany, Czech Republic working with British scientists from Central Laser Facility claim to have broken the magical barrier of laser power, delivering a 1,000-watt average power output laser called the Bivoj superlaser. “Bivoj” is a name inspired by a strongman from Czech mythology. The project itself took three years to design at the British Central Laser Facility and was transferred and built at Břežany in 2015. The Bivoj superlaser weighs in at around 20 tonnes and cost €44 million ($48 million USD). It eventually broke the 1,000W average barrier by mid-December 2016.
While there are other extremely powerful lasers in the world including Japan’s Two-petawatt laser in Osaka (Laser for Fast Ignition Experiments) and the USA’s One-petawatt laser in Austin, Texas, these are measured with their peak laser outputs. One petawatt is equivallent to one million billion watts, so although these are significantly more powerful than the Bivoj at peak output, these two other lasers are not capable of reaching these peaks repeatedly, only a few times a day and their average is a lot lower in comparison to the Bivoj superlaser’s sustained and consistent 1000W average.
“It is a world record which is important, 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” CLF director John Collier commented to the AFP.
Bivoj will have applications in the aeronautics, automotive and power sectors, according to the CLF and HiLASE specialists and plans to commercialize the laser by Q2 2017.