01 Dec 2009



Vulcan is a petawatt laser system, used for experiments researching fusion energy, electron and ion acceleration, laboratory astrophysics and plasma physics.

Vulcan laser


Vulcan Laser

Vulcan is a Petawatt (1015 Watts) laser facility available to the UK and international research community. This unique facility delivers a focused beam – which for 1 picosecond (0.000000000001 seconds) is 10,000 times more powerful than the National Grid – to support a wide-ranging programme in fundamental physics and advanced applications. These pages contain information about the laser and the experimental areas it supports. 

Vulcan laser facility


The scientific areas that are explored using the Vulcan facility include:
  • Interaction of super-high intensity light with matter
  • Physics of fusion energy research
  • Photo-induced nuclear reactions
  • Electron and ion acceleration by light waves
  • Astrophysics in the laboratory
  • Exploration of the exotic world of plasma physics dominated by relativity
For more details see the scientific highlights pages.



Contact: Musgrave, Ian (STFC,RAL,CLF)