Watch CBS News

University of Michigan unveils new super powerful laser

University of Michigan unveils new super powerful laser
University of Michigan unveils new super powerful laser 02:07

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A laser more than 30 years in the making is coming out of the University of Michigan with application possibilities that range from studying the cosmos to improving life on Earth. 

"The Zeus laser is scheduled to be a three-petawatt laser. That's something like 100 times the world grid power," said John Neese, a senior research scientist at the University of Michigan. 

It's a super powerful laser, one of the most powerful in the world, that allows researchers to study pulses that have never been created on Earth before. There are medical applications as well. 

"We're looking also to develop applications for ion acceleration therapies like proton therapy, and other therapies that can help to eradicate cancer are also sort of targeted by our laser research," Nees said. 

Gerard Mourou, who won a Nobel Prize for his work on lasers like this one in 2018, said he's most excited to see the way this new technology can improve medical outcomes. 

"With this technique, we can produce the same type of particle with the same energy but in a very compact way and a less expensive way," Mourou said. 

Monday marks the grand opening of the laser, and the lab-visiting scientists from the U.S. and across the globe will be able to conduct experiments with this new tech. 

"People will be coming to the University of Michigan to do world-class experiments trying to find out what's the very nature of the world that we live in," Nees said. "We're looking for ways to really aid human understanding and applications that are important to people in everyday life."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.