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.
Bright Light Rocks Harder: Creates Amazing Light Show
Laser shots delivered to UNL experimentalists.
World's Brightest Laser at Extreme Light Laboratory featured in Lab Manager Magazine
From article in Lab Manager Magazine
"While scientists in fiction often use lasers for evil, researchers in the real world use them to help humankind. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Extreme Light Laboratory (ELL) is home to one particularly unique laser that could benefit us in many ways...."
Extreme Light Creations Featured in Art Exhibition
Prof. Umstadter created art displays and optical demonstrations for Light, a major exhibition at the Kaneko Art Gallery in Omaha. The displays were implemented and installed with the assistance of students, scientists, and engineers from the Extreme Light Lab. One example (shown in the photo) is a piece titled Color Mirror, which makes use of a spare diffraction grating, used in the Extreme Light laboratory to shorten the Diocles-laser-light pulse and increase its brightness. The exhibit, which is free and open to the public, ends March 23, 2018.
Fruhling receives outstanding poster award
Bright light leads to Nature Photonics publication
Congratulations to post-doctoral fellow and first-author, Wenchao Yan, and the ELL research team on their recent publication featured on the cover of the August 2017 issue of the journal Nature Photonics. The research explores high-order multiphoton Thomson scattering, where hundreds of discrete photons are simultaneously scattered from individual electrons. Evidence for the highly nonlinear electron motion is seen from the spatial profiles of the x-ray beams, which became elongated along the direction of laser polarization as the strength of the light fields increased and the electron’s figure-8 orbit became more pronounced. To achieve the requisite light intensity, an ultra-powerful laser was focused to 10^20 times higher than that of sunlight on Earth.
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UNL Research Report available
The Extreme Light Laboratory was featured as the cover story in the 2013-2014 UNL Research Report, which is available on the web. The website features all the stories and art featured in the print version plus selected videos, additional photos and links to other information.
The 2013-2014 Research Report is also available in PDF format.