Sponsored Links

University of Texas fires up petawatt laser, HERCULES weeps

University of Texas fires up petawatt laser, HERCULES weeps
Darren Murph
Darren Murph|April 8, 2008 9:19 AM

Just two months prior, we all stood in awe of the mighty HERCULES laser housed at the University of Michigan. Now, however, those 300 terawatts of power look mighty puny compared to the one petawatt potential claimed by the Texas Petawatt. Hailed as "the highest powered laser in the world" by Todd Ditmire, a physicist at the University of Texas at Austin, the device has the "power output of more than 2,000 times the output of all power plants in the United States," and in case that wasn't impressive enough, it's also "brighter than sunlight on the surface of the sun" -- but alas, only for a tenth of a trillionth of a second. Aside from totally ganking the geeky gloating rights from the Wolverines, the Longhorns will use the laser to study astronomical phenomena in miniature (and probably take over the world in short order).

[Via Physorg, image courtesy of University of Texas at Austin]
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission. All prices are correct at the time of publishing.