Scientists have found a way to create a ‘superlaser’ by converging the beams of multiple lasers in a way that looks extremely similar to that of the Death Star from the film Star Wars.
Sometimes, science and science fiction meet in the most glorious (terrifying) of ways. This is one of those moments.
The scientists at Macquarie University developed a technique that uses a diamond to converge multiple smaller lasers into one single intense beam.
The hope is that by perfecting their technique they can overcome one of the main boundaries with developing extremely powerful lasers.
“This discovery is technologically important as laser researchers are struggling with increasing power beyond a certain level due to the large challenges in handling the large heat build-up.” explains lead experimentalist Dr Aaron McKay.
“Combining beams from multiple lasers is one of the most promising ways to substantially raise the power barrier,”
While there are other research teams out there trying to combine multiple beams, the group at Macquarie believe they have one significant advantage: The use of diamonds.
A diamond can transfer the power from multiple beams with incredible efficiency, in addition diamonds have an astonishing ability to rapidly dissipate heat.
These multi-beam lasers won’t just have scientific applications, they’ll be applied to a range of different fields from engineering to military.
“Researchers are developing high power lasers to combat threats to security from the increased proliferation of low-cost drones and missile technology. High power lasers are also needed in space applications including powering space vehicles and tackling the growing space junk problem that threatens satellites,” said co-author Associate Professor Rich Mildren.