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Thread: The National Ignition Facility

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    The National Ignition Facility

    The National Ignition Facility


     




    "Creating a miniature star on Earth" is the goal of the National Ignition Facility (NIF),
    home to the world's largest and highest-energy laser in Livermore, California. On September 29th,
    2010, the NIF completed its first integrated ignition experiment, where it focused its 192 lasers
    on a small cylinder housing a tiny frozen capsule containing hydrogen fuel, briefly bombarding it
    with 1 megajoule of laser energy. The experiment was the latest in a series of tests leading to
    a hoped-for "ignition", where the nuclei of the atoms of the fuel inside the target capsule are
    made to fuse together releasing tremendous energy - potentially more energy than was put in to start
    the initial reaction, becoming a valuable power source. The NIF has cost over $3.5 billion since
    1997 and is a part of the federally funded Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Scientists at
    NIF say they hope to achieve fusion by 2012.






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