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China Creates a Laser of Mind-Boggling Power --"Could Rip Space Asunder, Breaking the Vacuum"




Inside a cramped laboratory in Shanghai, China, physicist Ruxin Li and colleagues are breaking records with the most powerful pulses of light the world has ever seen. At the heart of their laser, called the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility (SULF), is a single cylinder of titanium-doped sapphire about the width of a Frisbee. After kindling light in the crystal and shunting it through a system of lenses and mirrors, the SULF distills it into pulses of mind-boggling power.

In 2016, it achieved an unprecedented 5.3 million billion watts, or petawatts (PW) reports Science. The lights in Shanghai do not dim each time the laser fires, however. Although the pulses are extraordinarily powerful, they are also infinitesimally brief, lasting less than a trillionth of a second. The researchers are now upgrading their laser and hope to beat their own record by the end of this year with a 10-PW shot, which would pack more than 1000 times the power of all the world's electrical grids combined.


The group's ambitions don't end there. This year, Li and colleagues intend to start building a 100-PW laser known as the Station of Extreme Light (SEL). By 2023, it could be flinging pulses into a chamber 20 meters underground, subjecting targets to extremes of temperature and pressure not normally found on Earth, a boon to astrophysicists and materials scientists alike.

The laser could also power demonstrations of a new way to accelerate particles for use in medicine and high-energy physics. But most alluring, Li says, would be showing that light could tear electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons, from empty space—a phenomenon known as "breaking the vacuum."

It would be a striking illustration that matter and energy are interchangeable, as Albert Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation states. Although nuclear weapons attest to the conversion of matter into immense amounts of heat and light, doing the reverse is not so easy. But Li says the SEL is up to the task. "That would be very exciting," he says. "It would mean you could generate something from nothing."

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i did not see any such thing in this article? conjecture is not fact?

Click-bait. Completely useless. Won’t be reading anymore articles from this site.

Theoretically, such an intense laser COULD stimulate pair production; energetic photons generating an electron and a positron in free space.

"But most alluring, Li says, would be showing that light could tear electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons, from empty space—a phenomenon known as "breaking the vacuum.""

Yeah, except that's not an accurate description. The electron and positron pair have infinitesimally brief "lives" before recombining into an equivalent photon to the one that they started with.

This is sort-of connected to the Hawking Radiation around a black hole. An energetic photon (grazing the event horizon of a black hole) creates an electron-positron pair. Instead if recombining, one of the pair falls into the black hole, which "virtually emits" the other particle.

However, a petawatt laser pulse that lasts a femtosecond still doesn't deliver much energy.

Doesn't anyone find this very alarming, a beam that can rip space apart? And for what reason, pray tell, would China or anyone want such technology ---- except as an ultra-weapon? Something's very amiss here.

Please don't break the universe.

I like it.

Is there danger ahead with a laser that can tear space apart or it could be a great power on earth , which ever we don't need great power that can or be used for evil !

Once they develop a laser than can create these enormously powerful energies for more than a fraction of an instant, THEN they'll have a weapon. Right now, what they have is an interesting physics experiment.

And just to assuage all your fears, this "breaking the vacuum" pair-production is an entirely natural phenomenon which happens in free space whenever a sufficiently energetic cosmic ray goes by. According to Einstein's principle of "General Relativity", matter and energy are freely converted back and forth. An energetic cosmic ray - or photon from a laser - can change from energy into mass, "creating" an electron and a positron. These two particles then quickly recombine to create a photon - an equivalent photon to the one that turned into mass.

Edger Casey (sleeping prophet) said scientist (magicians in their day), in Atlantis, used sapphire's to create powerful beam weapons...."Nothing new under the sun..."

-- light could tear electrons and their antimatter counterparts, positrons, from empty space—a phenomenon known as "breaking the vacuum."--

The only thing to worry about are the produced gamma rays and that you don't stand in the gamma ray path. The gamma rays would need to be directed towards someplace safe, an indifferent target, because there is no way they can be contained:

"The laser field would then shake the particles, causing them to emit electromagnetic waves—in this case, gamma rays. The gamma rays would, in turn, generate new electron-positron pairs, and so on, resulting in an avalanche of particles and radiation that could be detected."

Over extremely short time scales, pairs of electrons and positrons, their antimatter counterparts, flicker in and out of existence, born of quantum mechanical uncertainty.

Because of their mutual attraction, they normally annihilate each other almost as soon as they form.

By using the proposed ultra-powerful laser this doesn't happen, and 'something is created from nothing', ie. energy is converted directly to matter.

This something comes actually from the quantum fluctuation of virtual particles ABOVE the zero point energy level (Nullpunktsenergie).

trillion of a second calling bullshit on that one

A trillionth of a second sounds about right. Delivering KW's of energy? Not much of a weapon but interesting science.

The item is more sensational than a reality of any significance! As mentioned, such events have already been created by hughly energetic cosmic ray induced events! Let science continue to grow till we see an event of real significance is discovered that can be utilised for power hungry world cheaply! WE want cheap power from solar light coming from Sun! Surface junction thermo-electric power generated from apair of surface joints generated by sheets of soft iron and Aluminuim forming an effective surface junction!

They've been planning for years now to set up a giant solar array on the moon.

USA were planning the same.

They wanted to beam back energy via microwave energy.

Could this be a step in that direction? The power is on the moon. The need is here. Also it would be absolutely perfect for laser combustion drives for satellites and space travel. Some backyard experimenter years ago was shooting mirrored bowls into the sky using a tiny ground based laser that exploded the air inside the disk.

Lots of useful possibilities. Pretty sure we're past blowing each other apart with ultra weapons. Despite some certain orange gobshites trying to make us fear that.

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