Sunday, February 13, 2005


Bending Metal With a Powerful Laser

`A new high-powered laser developed by scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. holds promise to improve upon so-called laser peening. [..]

“The laser runs 25 times faster than any other laser in the world,” says Hackel. “It has a peak power output of a billion watts for 20 nanoseconds. That’s the [power] output of a huge electrical power plant for a city neighborhood.”

Bringing such tremendous power onto a pinpoint piece of metal for just billionths of a second creates a huge microscopic shockwave and pressures up to one million pounds per square inch, says Hackel.’

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