3.31.2009

World's largest laser now ready for use

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iNnHeARUM0Vyfsoy1YdJfLjJF0ggD978KR9O0

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WASHINGTON (AP) — After more than a decade of work and $3.5 billion, engineers have completed the world's most powerful laser, capable of simulating the energy force of a hydrogen bomb and the sun itself.

The Energy Department will announce Tuesday that it has officially certified the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, clearing the way for a series of experiments over the next year. Scientists hope the experiments eventually will mimic the heat and pressure found at the center of the sun.

The facility, the size of a football field, consists of 192 separate laser beams, each traveling 1,000 feet in a one-thousandth of a second to converge simultaneously on a target the size of a pencil eraser.

While the NIF laser is expected to be used for a wide range of high-energy and high-density physics experiments, its primary purpose is to help government physicists ensure the reliability of the nation's nuclear weapons as they become older.

The laser "will be a cornerstone" of the weapons stewardship program "ensuring the continuing reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without underground nuclear testing," Thomas D'Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, said in an interview Monday.

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And who is making this laser???

https://lasers.llnl.gov/

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Laser misuse???


1214518899









Soldiers Blinded, Hospitalized by Laser 'Friendly Fire'

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