World's most powerful laser developed in Texas


Straight out of the University of Texas at Austin comes the world’s most powerful laser. I just assumed that most lasers were very powerful, but apparently the great state of Texas has the best one until someone else can come along and build an even more powerful laser or mounts this same laser to a shark’s head.

According to,

“With greater than one quadrillion watts of laser power, the level of output achieved on March 31 by the Texas Petawatt laser is equivalent to more than 2,000 times the output of all power plants in the United States and brighter than the Sun’s surface, according team leader and physicist at The University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Todd Ditmire.

The one quadrillion watt laser burst, which lasts just a 10th of a trillionth of a second (0.0000000000001 second) will be used to study the secrets of the universe by enabling examination of gases at extreme temperatures solids at pressures of many billions of atmospheres – even creating mini-supernovas and exploring energy made by controlled fusion.”

That sounds very nice (impossible, but nice). Maybe, though, we could use the beam for energy since it’s more than 2,000 times the output of all power plants in the United States. I’m all for studying the universe, but maybe we could eradicate everyone’s home energy bills and then I’ll personally promise to donate half of what my bill used to be to this project. Everyone wins! Also, if you could make a laser that does the same for natural gas, my Comcast bill, the wife’s cell phone bill and car payment, and maybe even my rent somehow, that’d be really cool too.

The Texas Petawatt Project [University of Texas]