Mar 7 2008HERCULES Laser Sounds Powerful, I Guess


The HERCULES laser produces a beam that lasts 30 million billionths of a second and is believed to be the most intense light in the universe.

If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory. The record-setting beam measures 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter. It contains 300 terawatts of power. That’s 300 times the capacity of the entire U.S. electricity grid. The laser beam's power is concentrated to a 1.3-micron speck about 100th the diameter of a human hair. A human hair is about 100 microns wide.

It is hoped the beam can be used to develop better forms of radiation treatment for cancer and explore the possibility of spontaneous matter generation (holy hellfire!). Now my buddy (who will remain anonymous but whose name is York) came up with an even better use for such a laser. Are you ready for it? Here it comes -- A 24 HOUR LASER LIGHT SHOW ON THE MOON! Wrap your brain around that one for a minute. This might very well be the turning point in world relations. Think about it -- all nations coming together to get high as shit and watch lasers on the freaking moon! Can you smell that? It’s world peace. Or maybe it’s the moon exploding. Either way it’s going to be a hell of a show.

HERCULES Laser is Most Intense Laser in the Universe, Almost as Powerful as the Death Star [gizmodo]

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Reader Comments

Like that time i swalled a entire chunk of fiberglass insulation.

Swallowed, my bad

wouldn't this thing shoot straight through the moon?

I would have thought York would be more into a giant laser crossword puzzle...

Yeah, OK, but can it blast Celebrity Apprentice off the air?

Can the energy produced be converted into useful energy? Either way, I think the moon would explode.

300 Terrawatts is enough to power a time travel device.

@ #7

We know, this device was invented 20 years from now.

maybe this energy can be use for teleport! One of the problem of teleport is the fact that you need to divide molecula by molecula something, but you need an incredible amount of energy....that's the energy we need...c'mon scotty!

I'm already filling my house with popcorn.

Seriously, what would happen if we shined it at the sun...

Would it explode?

Boydi xXx


Real Genius was a funny movie

No, it is useless as a weapon. Absolutely nothing visible to the naked eye would happen. Lasers like this are designed to vapourise individual atoms. If you fired it at a sheet of paper, you wouldn't notice anything. If you fired it at a grain of sand, you wouldn't notice anything. After annihilating its target atom(s), it would just dissipate into the surrounding environment and be diluted like a drop of food colouring in an ocean.

It is much less useful for cancer treatment than nanotechnology will be, but still an impressive achievement.

wow! super cool. I'm so glad that, as a species, we have elected to structure our society (based on the fear of deprivation) that there will always be the rich and the poor in a winner take all fashion forming our present day dystopia without ever considering the interconnectedness of things.

So.... a research facility (devoted to bettering mankind) has 3 times as much power as in the electric grid that they are using to do questionably important research? -- meanwhile millions of people are homeless or have a great lack of certainty because a few thousand individuals decided to game the system ('cause they are sooo smart with math and new technology regardless of morals) - 'cause its not like theres real issues like water and pollution to address...

Ok shoot the laser at the moon and do a little light show - cool ; yea that will really cause world peace... cause the predator drones flying overhead firing hellfire missiles into people's mud huts who might as well be living in the 13th century except for their ability to watch and participate on Arabic TV will be mighty impressed with your technological advance and decide to smelt down their AKs...

Hey, here is an interesting idea... find a way to use your laser to kill cane toads in Australia ; just hook-up with some really good computer science lab doing research into visual processing (think self-driving cars) and tell them you'd like to team up with them to help solve an enormous ecological problem.

And there is potentially money in this. Note: People in AU don't care how you kill them; go do some research on this if you've never heard of it; they are destroying huge areas. The money comes from the fact that if you get enough of them (a small group of people captured 20,000 in one night - and they can be fairly good size), you can turn them into high quality commercial liquid fertilizer. There are expected to be approx 100 million Cane Frogs in AU; which started as 103 released in 1935. So you get a sense of the issues they are having;

I'd be mighty impressed if you used your fancy toy to do good in the world. Otherwise, its just another potential weapons systems or way to tear a hole in space time and cause a possible strangelet.

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