Thales and ELI-NP develop world’s most powerful laser

Key points
  • The laser will be operational at the Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics’ site, Romania, in 2018.
  • 2x10 petawatts (20 million billion watts) of power
  • Designed for research topics, astrophysics and for applied research in materials science, management of nuclear material and life science
  • Technical and scientific training programme for Romanian engineers and technicians

As part of his state visit to Romania, French President François Hollande accompanied the Romanian Head of State, Klaus W. Iohannis, on a visit of the Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics’ site, where the world’s most powerful laser system will be installed.

Thales has made innovation a core strategic priority and believes that real innovation hinges on the ability to harness creativity to meet actual customer needs and develop disruptive technologies. Based on this vision, the company is taking part in the Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) project to develop the world’s most powerful laser system. This 2x10 petawatt laser will support research in nuclear physics and help advance human understanding of the physics of matter. It will be operational in 2018.
Thales has operated in Romania for 40 years and is now addressing the country’s transport needs while expanding its areas of focus to include defence, security, aerospace and science and technology.

In the field of science and technology, Thales is supporting Romania’s contribution to the European laser research project ELI-NP (Extreme Light Infrastructure-Nuclear Physics). The company is providing Romania’s nuclear physics institute (IFIN-HH) with an ultra high-power laser system delivering 2x10 petawatts (20 million billion watts) of power. This is more powerful than any other laser system to date, including the petawatt systems previously installed by Thales. A special technical and scientific training programme will also be provided through Thales University.
On the ELI-NP project, Thales is not only responsible for the turnkey development and supply of a complex scientific instrument delivering unprecedented levels of power, but will train Romanian engineers and technicians to install and operate the system for European research programmes.
Constance Arnoux, Corporate - Innovations - French Regional Daily Press
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