Photo by Steve Zylius / UCI.

The world’s most powerful laser

A UC Irvine professor will help design the world’s most powerful laser.

Franklin Dollar, a professor of physics and astronomy, is among a team of scientists that recently was awarded an $18 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create the new laser.

If successful, it will consist of two separate 25-petawatt (or quadrillion-watt) lasers capable of producing a pulse measured in the millionths of a billionth of a second. Currently, the most powerful laser in the U.S. is 3 petawatts.

The new project could lead to new cancer treatments that deliver hypertargeted radiation dosages to specific regions of the body. The laser will be built at the University of Rochester.