Wednesday, May 27, 2009

National Ignition Facility

Yup, we have one, and it's being dedicated this week.

In theory, the facility’s 192 lasers — made of nearly 60 miles of mirrors and fiber optics, crystals and light amplifiers — will fire as one to pulverize a fleck of hydrogen fuel smaller than a match head. Compressed and heated to temperatures hotter than those of the core of a star, the hydrogen atoms will fuse into helium, releasing bursts of thermonuclear energy.
That's not a #2 pencil; that's the "target holder".

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