Jena laser system sets another world record
POLARIS is the world's most powerful fully diode-pumped laser system, which produces the world's highest-performing laser pulses. A team of physicists from the University of Jena under the leadership of Prof. Dr Malte Kaluza at the Institute of Optics and Quantum Electronics has now improved POLARIS' performance significantly.
Ultrashort high-energy laser pulses can be focused down to produce tremendous power densities, and the hottest, densest matter we know how to make in the laboratory. The name POLARIS stands for Petawatt Optical Laser Amplifier for Radiation Intensive Experiments. The laser--operated since 1999 by the University of Jena and the Helmholtz Institute Jena--is the world's only fully diode-pumped laser system generating pulses with a peak power of more than 200 TW and can thus be used for high-intensity experiments.
The POLARIS system is built within a lab of 250 m2. The laser pulses are generated using an oscillator, temporally stretched in a grating stretcher, then amplified in energy by more than 10 orders of magnitude before they are temporally compressed again. Finally the pulses are focused in the target area to a µm-diameter focal spot using a parabolic mirror to be available for high-intensity experiments.
A proliferation of petawatt lasers--an excellent introduction to high-energy laser pulses by contributing editor Jeff Hecht
Four 800 kW laser-diode arrays to pump high-pulse-rate HAPLS petawatt laser
More information on POLARIS from the Helmholtz Institute Jena