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Unique laser system arrives from USA to Czech scientific centre

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Dolni Brezany, near Prague, June 8 (CTK) – A world-unique laser system has arrived in the ELI Beamlines laser centre in Dolni Brezany today after being constructed in the USA in cooperation with Czech experts and firms, Bedrich Rus, head of the ELI Beamlines’ laser technologies programme, has told reporters.

The laser system is the first of the four that will gradually start operating in ELI Beamlines as from next year.

It has the highest light pulse efficiency, the highest pulse rate, the most efficient laser diodes and the state-of-the-art optical technologies, Rus said.

It cost 1.2 billion crowns not including VAT, and it is the most expensive of the four systems the centre is to operate.

The whole system, whose parts have arrived in dozens of boxes and containers, has to be assembled now. It is to be used in both basic and applied research.

For example, it is to help develop particle accelerators designated for medical purposes, and examine the structure of live cells.

The output of the system’s single light pulse is one petawatt, which is million times the output of a reactor of the Temelin nuclear power plant, south Bohemia.

The Science Academy’s Institute of Physics director Michael Prouza said the world knows more lasers reaching a petawatt pulse, but the one in ELI Beamline is the only one that sends out pulses more often than once in a second.

“The maximum will even be ten pulses in a second. Nothing like this has ever been constructed in the world,” Prouza said.

The unique device opens new chances for experimenting in bioscience, medicine and plasma research, he added.

Deputy PM Pavel Belobradek, who met the experts in Dolni Brezany today, appreciated it that the Physical Institute and Czech industry assisted in the development and construction of the laser system.

It took six days to transfer the system to Dolni Brezany from Livermore, California, via the airports in Los Angeles and Frankfurt am Main.

Its installation in ELI Beamline will probably start in September, after a special hall for it is completed, Rus said.

Afterwards, another efficient device, 10-PW laser, will arrive from the USA.

The ELI Beamline laser centre was built with the EU’s financial support and opened in 2015.

($1=23.459 crowns)

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