Giant lasers: the super-powerful key to saving the world?

6.00pm to 6.50pm, Thursday 9 December


The Royal Institution of Great Britain GB United Kingdom W1S 4BS 21 Albemarle Street London
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  • A view of complex machinery and pipes, with a bright laser shining directly at the camera.

    The National Ignition Facility, home to a high-powered laser.

    Credit: Wikimedia
  • Type

  • Audience

    Families and Young People, recommended for ages 13+

  • Speakers

    • Kate Lancaster


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Event description

When lasers were invented over half a century ago they were dismissed as a “solution looking for a problem”. Since then lasers have come to revolutionise our lives through their practical applications such as data transport and CD/ DVD players, and as a tool for industry and science.

Today, Scientists are using them to attempt to recreate fusion, the energy source of the sun, to create a clean and inexhaustible supply of energy for the future. Physicist Kate Lancaster will lead you on a journey through this extreme world, from the basics of how lasers work to ultra-intense giant lasers which might provide clean energy for everyone.

This event is particularly suitable for ages 13+

About the speaker

Kate Lancaster is an experimental plasma physicist with expertise in inertial fusion energy and ultra-intense laser plasma interactions, industrial engagement, knowledge transfer, teaching, and science communication (speaking, broadcast, and written).

She is the programme leader for MSc in Fusion Energy and part of the physics department at the University of York.

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Please note, this event is earlier than usual and is aimed at a family audience.

The event will go live at 5:55pm, and the introduction will begin at 6:00pm. If you register but miss the live stream, the video will be available to you via the same link for up to a week after the event date.

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