China is developing a laser capable of producing 100 quadrillion watts - around 50,000 times the power consumption of the planet and a light so powerful it equals the amount of energy Earth receives from the Sun.

The Station of Extreme Light, which China has been constructing in Shanghai since 2018, has made progress in producing lasers powerful enough to break through empty space and generate matter.

Scientists hope to complete work in 2023.

The Station of Extreme Light is a laser installation to produce light with a maximum power of 100 petawatts (one petawatt equals one thousand trillion watts) - a goal expected to be achieved within two years.

Once completed, the laser will be the most powerful on Earth, with a power 10,000 times greater than all of the world's electrical networks combined and an intensity 10 trillion times greater than that of sunlight.

The laser will be powerful enough to synthesize matter and antimatter directly from the vacuum of space - allowing us to watch the identical process in a terrestrial laboratory that might have given rise to the cosmos.

Scientists expect they will be successful in producing particles and antiparticles as if they had appeared out of nowhere: it will demonstrate that light can draw matter and antimatter particles out of empty space, a phenomenon known as "breaking the vacuum."

The facility's function, however, will not be limited to satisfying curiosity. It has the potential to aid research - including in new materials and pharmaceuticals, as well as nuclear fusion energy.

According to the South China Morning Post, a laser scientist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Physics in Beijing claimed the new Shanghai laser facility would cement China's leadership in the high-power laser race.

Some research teams in Russia, Europe and the U.S. have proposed similar programs, but none have secured adequate government funding, according to a physicist who was not engaged in the project and asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the new media.

"China will almost certainly win," the unnamed scientist said.