Lasers could heat materials to temperatures hotter than the centre of the Sun in only 20 quadrillionths of a second, according to new research.
Theoretical physicists from Imperial College London have devised an extremely rapid heating mechanism that they believe could heat certain materials to ten million degrees in much less than a million millionth of a second.
One of the problems with fusion research has been getting the energy from the laser in the right place at the right time. This method puts energy straight into the ions.
– Dr Arthur Turrell
The method, proposed here for the first time, could be relevant to new avenues of research in thermonuclear fusion energy, where scientists are seeking to replicate the Sun’s ability to produce clean energy.
The heating would be about 100 times faster than rates currently seen in fusion experiments using the world’s most energetic laser system at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. The race is now on for fellow scientists to put the team’s method into practice.
Researchers have been using high-power lasers to heat material as part of the effort to create fusion energy for many years. In this new study, the physicists at Imperial were looking for ways to directly heat up ions – particles which make up the bulk of matter.
When lasers are used to heat most materials, the energy from the laser first heats up the electrons in the target. These in turn heat up the ions, making the process slower than targeting the ions directly.
The Imperial team discovered that when a high-intensity laser is fired at a certain type of material, it will create an electrostatic shockwave that can heat ions directly. Their discovery is published today in the journal Nature Communications.
“It’s a completely unexpected result. One of the problems with fusion research has been getting the energy from the laser in the right place at the right time. This method puts energy straight into the ions,” said the paper’s lead author, Dr Arthur Turrell.
Normally, laser-induced electrostatic shockwaves push ions ahead of them, causing them to accelerate away from the shockwave but not heat up. However, using sophisticated supercomputer modelling, the team discovered that if a material contains special combinations of ions, they will be accelerated by the shockwave at different speeds.
This causes friction, which in turn causes them to rapidly heat. They found that the effect would be strongest in solids with two ion types, such as plastics.
“The two types of ions act like matches and a box; you need both,” explained study co-author Dr Mark Sherlock from the Department of Physics at Imperial. “A bunch of matches will never light on their own – you need the friction caused by striking them against the box.”
“That the actual material used as a target mattered so much was a surprise in itself,” added study co-author Professor Steven Rose. “In materials with only one ion type, the effect completely disappears.”
The Latest on: High-intensity laser
[google_news title=”” keyword=”High-intensity laser” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: High-intensity laser
- Uncovering Laser Marking and Engraving Machine Market Potentials Beyond The Basicson February 22, 2024 at 2:34 am
Laser Marking and Engraving Machine Market Research Report: 2024. ResearchVise has published a new report titled, “Global Laser Marking and Engraving Ma ...
- The Future of Precision Optical Components and Laser Interferometerson February 21, 2024 at 6:20 am
This article explores the future of precision optical components, laser interferometers, nano positioning sensors, 3D optical profilers, and optical assemblies.
- Everything to Know About the Clear + Brilliant Laser Treatmenton February 20, 2024 at 10:26 am
Read on below. Clear + Brilliant uses fractional laser technology to address and prevent the early signs of aging skin, with minimal downtime, especially as it compares to other lasers. It's a fairly ...
- Garmin’s newest running watch is cheaper than you’d expecton February 20, 2024 at 4:00 am
The Forerunner 165 is Garmin's latest running watch. It has a familiar design, is packed with health features, and is a lot cheaper than you'd expect.
- Seagate and Sony team up to develop 30TB hard drives with advanced HAMR technologyon February 19, 2024 at 4:05 am
Seagate has partnered with Sony Group to produce cutting-edge laser diodes for their next-gen HAMR (Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording) write heads, with the latter set to kick ...
- Collaboration shapes prioritization within DESY’s quantum ecosystemon February 19, 2024 at 1:33 am
The head of the Center for Quantum Technology and Applications outlines plans to accelerate quantum science and technology developments at DESY ...
- UniSA and UoA scientists demonstrate method to upscale fibre laser technologyon February 18, 2024 at 4:39 pm
Researchers from the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide and Yale University have been collaborating their research.
- New Ultrafast Laser Technology Could Improve Cancer Treatmenton February 17, 2024 at 8:02 am
Canadian research team at INRS makes discovery that could enhance the effectiveness of radiation therapy in oncology. Ultrafast laser technology consistently delivers unexpected advancements. At first ...
- US Navy quietly reinstalls ODIN Laser on destroyer USS Spruanceon February 16, 2024 at 12:38 am
According to information published by cjr1321 on January 21, 2024, the US Navy has recently reinstalled the Optical Dazzling Interdictor, Navy (ODIN) laser system on the USS Spruance (DDG-111), an ...
- The Army’s Scout Helicopter Is Cursedon February 14, 2024 at 4:01 am
The U.S. Army startled industry observers on Thursday when it revealed that it was pulling the plug on its advanced new Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) scout helicopter program—even as ...
via Bing News