Researchers break power record for free-electron laser
Researchers at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Newport News, VA) reached a milestone when they generated 155 W of infrared light at 5 µm with their free-electron laser (FEL). The scientists were aiming for 100 W but surpassed that twice in two attempts. Their work breaks the previous output record of 11 W, achieved by the Free Electron Laser Center at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN). The researchers hope to eventually increase the power to 1000 W. The FEL was built over the last two years at a cost of about $22 million and is funded by the US Department of Energy, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the US Navy. Companies such as DuPont (Wilmington, DE), Northrop-Grumman Corp. (Los Angeles, CA), and Virginia Power (Richmond, VA) support the research, which they hope will have both industrial and scientific uses.