The three petawatt ZEUS (short for Zettawatt-Equivalent Ultrashort pulse laser System) will be the most powerful laser in the US when it opens for scientists. Located and developed at the University of Michigan, it is available for researchers to conduct experiments and will be primarily used for studies centered on extreme plasmas (explained by psy.org as “a state of matter in which the electrons have enough energy to escape atoms, creating a sea of charged particles”) as well as medicine, physics within the quantum universe and in outer space, and electronics.
First the facility will host scientists from all over the world who want to conduct experiments (at no cost), before beginning its own experiments later next year. This immensely powerful laser could lead to advancements across the realms of medicine, technology, engineering and beyond.
Image courtesy of Marcin Szczepanski, Michigan Engineering