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Chinese scientists are reportedly at work constructing a mega-laser that is so powerful, it could literally tear apart empty space. How can a laser tear apart the absence of matter?
Physicists hailing out of Shanghai, China are building what they refer to as a “Station of Extreme Light,” a device that they claim could be fully functional as early as 2023, about 5 years from now. The Station of Extreme Light appears to be a CERN-level project that could create temperature extremes not typically found on planet Earth. They say the technology it utilizes could one day be used to conduct a particle accelerator similiar to CERN.
Their stated goal is to create a laser so incredibly powerful, it can generate 100-petawatt laser pulses. That is actually 100 million billion watts. For some context, that is 10,000 times the power of the entire Earth’s electrical grids combined. What could even power such a thing?
Physicists are getting close to building lasers powerful enough to rip matter out of a vacuum.
According to a report published Jan. 24 in the journal Science, a team of Chinese scientists is getting ready to start construction this year on a 100-petawatt laser in Shanghai known as the Station of Extreme Light, or SEL. That puts them at the front of a wide field of scientists around the world who are working to realize a prediction published in the journal Physical Review Letters in 2010 by a team of American and French physicists that a sufficiently powerful laser could cause electrons to appear out of a vacuum.
It might seem weird to imagine that electrons could appear out of empty space. But it makes a lot more sense in light of a strange claim of quantum electrodynamics: “Empty” space isn’t empty at all, but rather is made up of densely packed pairs of matter and antimatter. Those pairs tightly fill up the gaps between everything, quantum electrodynamics states — they just don’t interact in any noticeable way with the rest of the universe, because they cancel one another out. [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics]
The extremely intense X-ray flash knocks so many electrons out of the iodine atom (right) such that it pulls in the electrons of the methyl group (left) like an elecetromagnetic version of a black hole, before finally spitting them out.
When scientists at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory focused the full intensity of the world’s most powerful X-ray laser on a small molecule, they got a surprise: A single laser pulse stripped all but a few electrons out of the molecule’s biggest atom from the inside out, leaving a void that started pulling in electrons from the rest of the molecule, like a black hole gobbling a spiraling disk of matter.
It’s always good advice to be preparing for the future, especially in the case of the United States military as the US continuously provokes other nations.
As Popular Science reported back in 2014, the US Navy had developed a 30-kilowatt laser and mounted it on the USS Ponce, which was stationed in the Persian Gulf at the time. The laser was part of the US Navy’s new Laser Weapon System (LaWS) program, and with a videogame-like controller it had been successfully tested.
In this video, the laser will engage and destroy multiple targets including a drone in mid-air.
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“Laser weapons are powerful, affordable and will play a vital role in the future of naval combat operations. We ran this particular weapon, a prototype, through some extremely tough paces, and it locked on and destroyed the targets we designated with near-instantaneous lethality.” Rear Adm. Matthew L. Klunder said at the time.
Over the past few weeks, a new piece of equipment has been spotted hanging off the NYSE primary microwave tower. Here it is…
– Meanwhile, Over At The “New York” Stock Exchange… Lasers (ZeroHedge, March 1, 2015):
The last time we looked at the most important tower in the world, about 4 months ago, it looked as follows:
– US Navy deploys laser weapon to Persian Gulf for first-ever combat mission (RT, Nov 15, 2014):
The US Navy has deployed its first ever combat laser. The futuristic weapon has boosted the arsenal of the Fifth Fleet’s command vessel in the Persian Gulf. The laser is said to be effective against numerous small targets, such as Iran’s gunboats.
A 30-kilowatt-class Laser Weapon System has been equipped on the USS Ponce amphibious transport ship since late August, Navy officials told Bloomberg.
– Army’s New Laser Cannon Blasts Drones Out of the Sky, Even in Fog (Wired, Sep 5, 2014):
Boeing is building a laser cannon for the U.S. Army, and the new weapon has now proved it will be as capable at sea as on land. The High Energy Laser Mobile Demonstrator (HEL MD)—basically a high-energy laser mounted on top of a big truck—was successfully used to blast some UAV drones and 60mm mortars out of the Florida sky earlier this year, Boeing announced Thursday.