A group of scientists from the Department of Energy’s National Laboratory for Accelerators (SLAC) has announced that the world’s brightest laser is close to completion.
It is Linac Coherent Light Source II (LCLS-II), which can be up to 10,000 times brighter than LCLS-I, the brightest laser in existence until the new device is operational.
For now, the LCLS-II is still being built in a facility thirty feet underground near Stanford University. The apparatus stretches for about 3.2 kilometers in a tunnel that was dug especially for this purpose.
According to those in charge of the project, this new laser could help physicists answer some of the main unknowns of the universe.
LCLS-I, the previous project that went live in 2009, is capable of creating a beam of light of 120 pulses per second. For its part, the LCLS-II is expected to break this record by producing one million pulses per second.
“I think it’s absolutely fair to say that LCLS-II will usher in a new era of science,” SLAC scientist James Cryan told CNET.
In this way, the new laser will be able to “produce pulses below a femtosecond. A femtosecond is to a second what the second is to the age of the universe ”.
With this never-before-seen pulsating ability, scientists will be able to carry out experiments that until recently were classified as impossible to perform.
SLAC scientists hope to be able to turn on the LCLS-II sometime in 2022.