ANN ARBOR—The United States is upgrading its laser capabilities with ZEUS, a new three-petawatt system to be built at the University of Michigan. Three petawatts is equal to three quadrillion watts, or a 3 followed by 15 zeros.
Funded with $16 million from the National Science Foundation, the facility will enable both basic and applied research. It will test a leading theory on how the universe operates at a subatomic level, and it could lead to advancements in medicine, materials science and national security.
“This laser will have the highest peak power in the United States and will be among the world’s most powerful laser systems for the next decade,” said Karl Krushelnick, director of the Gérard Mourou Center for Ultrafast Optical Science at U-M, where the laser will be built.