The High Intensity Laser Science Group studies the interaction of ultra-intense laser light with matter. These laser-matter interactions can create extreme and exotic conditions in the laboratory. This leads to application in diverse fields such as astrophysics, fusion research and ultrafast radiation source development.
In 2008 we demonstrated operation of the Texas Petawatt Laser to the power of 1.1 Petawatt (1015 W) which is, to our knowledge, currently the world's highest laser power output. The pulse contained 186 J of energy and was only 167 fs in duration. The laser is based on optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) and mixed Nd:glass amplification.
The Constructed Texas Petawatt Laser. The large disk amplifier housings are on the left (blue boxes).