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Chirped Pulse Amplification Expands Realm of Lasers

During a remarkably short period of time (a femtosecond), a chirped pulse amplification (CPA) technique produces laser light with unfathomably large peak power—on the order of 104 times the power of all of the world’s power plants combined.

 

Gérard Mourou, professor Haut-Collége at the École Polytechnique, as well as the A.D. Moore Distinguished University Emeritus Professor at the University of Michigan, will present his CPA technique during a Plenary Session at this year’s OSA Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science APS/DLS Conference.

 

“Focusing this power produces a condition of laser light interaction that can only exist in the cosmos,” said Mourou. “Even a vacuum could be broken down.”

 

Before now, lasers were primarily involved with molecular and atomic physics. But CPA dramatically expands the realm of lasers to include nuclear physics, high-energy particle physics, and black hole physics.

 

“CPA makes it possible to reduce the size of particle accelerators by as much as a thousand times, or to get a thousand times more particle energy for the same size,” said Mourou. “This opens the possibility of simulating black hole effects in the laboratory.”

 

Mourou will also discuss how compact accelerators can affect applications within the field of medicine for imaging, as well as therapy. “Ultrahigh-intensity lasers will find important applications for society within the field of materials science, but also for energy environments such as subcritical reactors or the transmutation of nuclear waste,” he said.

Posted: 9/11/2018 12:11:24 PM by American Institute of Physics | with 0 comments

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