Aquitaine, a sunny paradise in the South West of France, is well-known for its splendid landscapes surrounding the Arcachon Bay, its rich history including early contributions to building Europe through Aliénor and Henry II of England, and its exceptional wines unrivaled worldwide.
Aquitaine attracts the light and its capital, Bordeaux, creates a vibrant and outstanding place for optical sciences.
The summer of the International Year of Light ended brilliantly in France.
After PETAL’s achievement celebrated in mid-September near Bordeaux (see related e-EPS news of this issue), the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), the Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) together with Université Paris-Saclay (which includes the Ecole Polytechnique, ENSTA, IOGS and the Université Paris-Sud) inaugurated the APOLLON laser facility on the 29th of October 2015. This inauguration took place in the presence of the French State Secretary for Higher Education and Research, Mr. Thierry Mandon, the Vice-President of the Ile-de-France Regional …
On 29 May 2015, PETAL, (PETawatt Aquitaine Laser), delivered a power of 1.2 Petawatt (one million billion Watts). Supplying almost 1000 Joules of optical energy during less than 1 picosecond (1 psec = 10-12 sec.), thus making PETAL the first facility to overcome the Petawatt power barrier at the highest energy level within one beamline. It becomes the most powerful kilojoule-class laser in the world to date. Part of the Megajoule Laser Facility [LMJ] near Bordeaux, France, this instrument positions the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission [CEA] in a leading position worldwide for building and exploiting powerful lasers.