Japan Just Fired The World’s Most Powerful Laser, Meaning It’s Time To Freak Out

Life & Culture Editor
08.01.15 18 Comments


Nothing good can come of the world having a new “world’s most powerful laser.” Why? Because I don’t know if there’s a superhero capable of stopping the super-villain who will inevitably get their hands on this marvel of science and use it for evil. But until that happens (trust me, it’ll be soon), we can all enjoy the fact that we live in a time when more and more powerful lasers are being created (even though no one’s yet come up with a machine that will both feed me breakfast and shower me while I’m still asleep). Here comes the science behind this laser courtesy of the fine folks at IFSL:

The laser emits a staggering amount of power: two petawatts or two quadrillion watts, which is equivalent to nearly 1,000 times the total of the world’s electricity consumption per second. The energy of the laser beam is so vast that the laser has entered the record books as the most powerful laser ever fired, according to the researchers. The second most powerful, the Texas Petawatt Laser, emits only half the amount of power of the LFEX laser.

Petawatt isn’t even a word they teach you in high school science. Not even in college science. That power is just so huge that it’s almost frightening to think about. And the most impressive thing is that the laser doesn’t even need much power to run.

The entire thing can be run on two seconds of microwave power. Better start practicing those disaster drills immediately. This laser could knock all of us out in less time than it takes to nuke a Hungry Man dinner. (And the team is trying to build one that’s ten times as strong.) (WHY???)

(Via IFSL)

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