And it was built by a company called Foro Energy with funding assistance from the Department of Energy’s advanced research projects agency, ARPA-E. The agency says the innovation makes drilling for petroleum and geothermal sources of energy faster and cheaper.
Foro engineers overcame major physical obstacles to make their high-powered lasers. They can now deliver laser energy through fiber optic cable over long distances because they figured out how to counter an effect called stimulated Brillouin scattering. This physics problem occurs when the electric field of a high-energy laser triggers vibrations in the fiber that interfere with the movement of photons. The vibrations cause the photons to scatter, often back in the direction from which they traveled.