It was more like science fiction than science. After a split-second blast from a powerful laser beam, a flash of light like a tiny lightning bolt filled Ohio State University’s High Energy Density Physics lab.
It was the first time OSU scientists showed the public the Science Center for Advanced Research on Lasers and Engineered Targets, or SCARLET, laser.
It was the culmination of five years of work — and a chance for the scientists to have fun and, well, blow things up.
“This is a rare opportunity to see one of these big lasers in action,” senior engineer John Marketon said. “Normally, operations are anticlimactic. You’re not in the room — just sitting and looking at a computer screen.”