Peking University and Thales sign a contract to develop a very high peak power laser system in China


On June 30, 2020, Peking University and Thales signed a contract to develop a very high peak power laser system (2 PW) at 1Hz in China. This signature marks another successful milestone in Thales and Peking University’s fruitful collaboration. It follows the signing in November 2019 of a strategic agreement for future cooperation in Scientific Research in the area of Physics that was signed in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron, Thales, Peking University and École Polytechnique.

Through this collaboration, Thales will provide its expertise and state-of-the-art laser system to support Peking University in fulfilling the China's national key R&D program, namely “PW Laser Proton Accelerator Research & Application Demonstration Project” under “Major Scientific Instrument and Equipment Development” to be built at Beijing Huairou Science City. Being located over an area of 100 km² at north of Beijing, this national strategic site will gather the major Chinese research stakeholders.

Thales’ laser system will enable the University to push further the works in the field of laser particle acceleration and help advance human understanding of the physics of matter. It is the first phase of acquisition that will be reinforced in the forthcoming China’s 14th five-year plan (2021-2025).

The project follows the discoveries of Gérard Mourou, professor at École Polytechnique, in particular his notorious work on CPA technique (Chirped Pulse Amplification), for which Professor Mourou was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018. Gérard Mourou’s work is the result of a longstanding laser-research partnership between his laboratory, the Applied Optics Laboratory (LOA), and Thales, whose cutting-edge laser technology expertise expands the use of CPA to new boundaries every day.

“Thales has a strong experience in fostering cooperation with internationally renowned research laboratories and institutions. We are delighted to broaden our collaboration with Peking University to support scientific research in China. As a trusted partner for Chinese industries in aerospace, transportation and digital identity and security, Thales actively supports scientific research in physics with the Academic world.”

-Pascale Sourisse, President, Thales International

As a leader in laser technologies, Thales has extensive experience in collaboration programs, each of which are adapted to the specific needs of its partners. The Group has worked with ninety research teams across the world over the past three decades. These collaborations include the PW BELLA system for Laser Wakefield Acceleration in Berkeley (USA), the Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP), developed and commissioned by Romania, the SACLA facility for X-rays generation at Riken Harima in Japan or contributions to the French multi-PW project Apollon for Plasma Physic Research.

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