The 500-Terawatt Laser Shot
/ July 17, 2012
Fifteen years of work by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) team paid off on July 5 with a historic record-breaking laser shot, according to LLNL. The NIF laser system of 192 beams delivered more than 500 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to its target. Five hundred terawatts is 1,000 times more power than the United States uses at any instant in time, and 1.85 megajoules of energy is about 100 times what any other laser regularly produces today.