Laser Breaks Record

The Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility was the scene of a scientific breakthrough.

One of the most powerful lasers ever built achieved first light Wednesday as physicists herded millions of electrons through a maze of magnets.

The Free Electron Laser broke the world's record for it's kind, hitting 155 watts and surpassing the 11-watt mark held by Vanderbilt University for the past several years. The Jefferson team's goal was only 100 watts.

Potential uses for the laser range from food packaging to aeronautics.

For downloadable photos and additional text, please consult http://www.jlab.org/FEL/FELpics/FirstLight/FirstLight.html.