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The high-power laser system in Magurele reaches highest level in the world, 10 PetaWatts

on 13 March 2019

On 7 March 2019, the high-power laser system (HPLS) from the Extreme Light Infrastructure — Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) has reached the power of 10 PetaWatts, in a world premiere. In addition to applications in the areas of research, energy and medicine, a very important and immediate application of this high-power laser systemis to generate space radiation environments similar to those found in space, for example, near planet Jupiter.

Simulating cosmic environments in the lab will allow researchers, among others, to design scientific instruments or deep space mission components that can endure such extreme conditions. This development is already the focus of a research project, currently ongoing at the National Institute for Laser, Plasma & Radiation Physics (INFLPR) in Magurele, commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The ELI project is the first international laser research infrastructure. It will host the most powerful lasers in the world and enable new interdisciplinary research. The project is implemented via three specialised and complementary centres, based in three European countries. One of the countries is Romania. The Romanian component of the ELI Project is focused on nuclear physics (ELI-NP) and it is currently being built in Magurele, at the HoriaHulubei National Institute for Research and Development in Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH).

The installation of the system began in September 2016 in the ELI-NP building. It has recently been going final testing. After it reached 7 PetaWatts at the beginning of 2019, on 7 March 2019, the system reached the aimed power of 10 PW, the highest in the world.

Source: The Government of Romania, ROSA

Image credit: ELI-NP