Tabletop laser-based accelerators for nuclear particles are the rave of the high-energy physics research. These devices will make it possible to do high-energy physics on the cheap. Research at GeV (giga-electron volt or billion volt) energie was previously the exclusive domain of government laboratories and institutions like CERN. But now this research could become affordable for universities or even commercial laboratories. Instead of a billion-dollar, 10-mile sized particle facility requiring decades to build and operated by a team of hundreds, the “tabletop” accelerator costs thousand times less, fits into an average laboratory, and can be run by a few graduate students. Originally conceived in the US and worked on primarily at the UC Berkeley, today the tabletop accelerators are heavily funded by the European Union (EU). The US Government is trying to keep-up with the EU and it is budgeting some $30-50M and 3-5 years to develop the high-power ultra-short pulse laser (aka femtosecond laser) that allow tabletop accelerators to compete against traditional technologies.
Aqwest offers a shortcut to this by leveraging the ultrashort pulse laser it recently developed for the US Army. This would allow placing the driver lasers in the hands of the tabletop accelerators researchers in about 1-2 years at a fraction of the budgeted cost. We would love to beat the EU at its game, kick-start the US tabletop accelerator industry, and save the US taxpayer millions of dollars.