An engineer working at UK-based professional services firm PA Consulting’s Global Innovation and Technology Centre near Cambridge has been awarded the Guinness World Record title for Most Powerful Handheld Laser (prototype).
Innovation expert Daniel Black produced the small, powerful laser, which is capable of cutting through wood, plastic and fabrics. The laser, which outputs 445 nanometre (blue) light from a single diode emitter, achieved a peak power of 7.61 watts – equivalent to the combined output of almost 8,000 conventional laser pointers. Black set the previous record of 5.1 watts (4.2 watts sustained) in April 2016.
The laser doesn’t have an active cooling system, instead relying on its own body to passively cool the device. All of the electronics are mounted to the large internal copper structure that houses the diode. This copper structure helps to dissipate the heat generated by the diode, while the body of the device, which is made from machined aerospace aluminium, acts as a large heat sink.It can be powered either by two 18650 batteries or two 26650 batteries in series.
‘Lasers are ubiquitous, working behind the scenes to power our digital infrastructure,’ said Black. ‘This laser has been designed and built to push the limits of what can be achieved in such a small form factor – to take the next step in making the technology smaller, lighter and more power efficient. Lasers will form an ever-larger backbone to the way we communicate, shop, bank, learn and work, so it is important for laser technology to keep evolving and for us to push the boundaries.
‘This world record laser serves as a testbed for us to work safely with small, high-power lasers at PA,’ he continued. ‘And the technological progress we have made here may allow us to make more efficient and longer lasting communications networks, to look at possible new methods of wireless power delivery, to create new smaller medical devices, or even to change the way we deliver healthcare such as through portable laser tools for surgery.’
‘We believe in giving engineers such as Daniel the opportunity to innovate and create,’ said Rob Lambert, a PA electronic systems expert. ‘PA provides a unique opportunity for people to shape their own careers and to bring their ingenuity to life. We hope that Daniel’s achievement will inspire the coming generations to become world-leading scientists or engineers.’