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100 Petawatt lasers could generate antimatter from vacuum and create commercial nuclear fusion


In Shanghai, China, physicist Ruxin Li and colleagues are breaking records a pulse laser at the Shanghai Superintense Ultrafast Laser Facility (SULF). At the center is a single cylinder of titanium-doped sapphire about the width of a Frisbee. In 2016, it achieved an unprecedented 5.3 million billion watts, or petawatts (PW). The pulses are powerful but last less than a trillionth of a second. The researchers are now upgrading their laser and hope to beat their own record by the end of this year with a 10 petawatt shot.

They will start building a 100 Petawatt laser. They hope to complete the Station of Extreme Light (SEL) by 2023.

The 100 Petawatt laser might be intense enough to break the vacuum to generate large amounts of antimatter and matter. It is the intensity (watts per square centimeter) of the laser which will break the vaccum.

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