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Home of the Texas Petawatt Laser

Center for High Energy Density Science studies the interaction of ultra-intense laser light with matter. These laser-matter interactions create extreme and exotic conditions in the laboratory. Our research can be applied to diverse fields including 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 was for a time 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.

UT Petawatt Laser

The Constructed Texas Petawatt Laser. The large disk amplifier housings are on the left (blue boxes).