Osaka-based Institute of Laser Engineering (ILE) of Osaka University has developed a Petawatt laser “LFEX” to deliver up to 2,000 trillion watts in the duration of one trillionth of one second (about 1000 times the integrated electric power consumed in the world).
Using the high-power laser, researchers are able to generate high-energy quantum beams such as electrons, ions, gamma ray, neutron, and positron, useful in medical applications and non-destructive inspection of social infrastructures.
It could be revolutionary step for creating new fundamental technologies as cancer therapy for medical applications and non-destructive inspection of bridges and buildings, to contribute to our future life of longevity, safety, and security, and for the realization of fast ignition as an energy resource, said Japanese researchers.
Petawatt lasers are used for study of basic science, generating such high-energy quantum beams as neutrons and ions but so far, Petawatt lasers in the world have had relatively a small output (to a few tens of joules). Japanese researchers at ILE have achieved the world’s largest laser output of dozens of times those at other world-class lasers facilities (1,000 joules or more).
Further, the fast ignition will produce fusion energy with a relatively small laser system. The heating laser, which is indispensable for the fast ignition, can be now realized with the help of all the high-techs used for LFEX. It is thus largely expected that a break through will be made in the research of laser fusion, said Osaka researchers Hiroshi AZECHI, director of ILE and Junji KAWANAKA, Associate Professor AT ILE.
Congratulating them, Robert L. McCrory, Director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, said:”Congratulations to the Institute of Laser Engineering team for completing the 2000 trillion watt LFEX laser system. This is a world-leading facility and I look forward hearing about the exciting physics results that will come from research on it over the upcoming years.”
Osamu Motojima, Director Emeritus of the ITER Organization, said, “the fast ignition approach -ILE’s original and unique idea – is believed to be the very fast track to the realization of fusion energy. I have thus no doubt that they will make a break-through and further progress in this research field.”