What is special about the Diocles laser?

Its peak power (1014 watts) is greater than all of the world's power plants combined. The trick is that the power is delivered in short bursts of light, each lasting only a tiny fraction of a second (10-14 seconds).

Ten-million times brighter than the sun, the Diocles Laser is putting UNL at the forefront of high field physics and laser research.

Diocles is housed in UNL's Extreme Light Laboratory, led by physicist Donald Umstadter. It is remarkable not only because of extreme brightness, but also because its small size. 

The combination of small size and high brightness takes the "big" out of "big science." It also can enable new technologies and applications never before possible. Diocles produces x-rays that can "see through" 10-inch-thick steel, to potentially detect bombs hidden in a cargo container, or hairline cracks in a jet turbine, or even tumors in a cancer patient.

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