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New laser system launched in Czech Republic

Staff Writer | July 3, 2018
Scientists on Monday launched a new petawatt laser system L3-HAPLS at the ELI Beamlines research center in Dolni Brezany in Czech Republic.
Defense   A new petawatt laser system L3-HAPLS
The system was developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S. The U.S. representatives also attended the operating ceremony.

ELI (Extreme Light Infrastructure) Beamlines is part of the Institute of Physics of the Czech Science Academy. It is also one of the three research centers of the ELI Project. ELI Nuclear Physics in Romania and ELI APLS in Hungary are the two other facilities.

Bedrich Rus, head of laser technologies in ELI Beamlines, said the L3-HAPLS is technologically the most advanced laser of its kind.

It can transfer scientific curiosities or certain research topics to real life and new applications, such as developing new techniques for treating cancer, or exploring matter in giant planets like Uranus, how the supernova evolves after the explosion, or what features the matter of a collapsing star.

According to Rus, the laser's output can be imagined as 160 times the installed output of all power plants in the world. He said the laser generates 10 pulses a second. One femtosecond pulse is a beam long about one tenth the width of a human hair.

Scientists believe the L3-HAPLS system will open a new research area. It includes, for example, new imaging methods in medicine, research of material immunity for space flights or in-depth inspection of metal and other structures like bridges.

ELI Beamlines head Michael Prouza said the ELI Beamlines plans to have four laser systems. The first system is being tested and the second is now used in a reduced form. Another laser is being developed now.

ELI Delivery Consortium director Carlo Rizzuto said the ELI Project is important not only for Europe but also for the whole world. A number of research institutions from the USA, Sweden, France, Germany, Poland and other countries showed interest in the experiments of the laser.