At a cost of $3.5 billion and more than a decade of work, the 192 laser beams are billed as the most powerful in the world.
Scientists working at the National Ignition Facility of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, have built the most powerful laser in the world, capable of simulating the energy force of a hydrogen bomb and the sun itself.
â€œThe system already has produced 25 times more energy than any other laser system,â€ said NIF Director Ed Moses.
Image Left: This artist’s rendering shows a NIF target pellet inside a hohlraum capsule with laser beams entering through openings on either end. The beams compress and heat the target to the necessary conditions for nuclear fusion to occur. Ignition experiments on NIF will be the culmination of more than 30 years of inertial confinement fusion research and development, opening the door to exploration of previously inaccessible physical regimes.
The Energy Department is expected to announce Tuesday that it has officially certified the National Ignition Facility, which would clear the way for a series of experiments which scientists hope will eventually will mimic the heat and pressure found at the center of the sun.
The successful completion of the laser is the culmination of more than a decade of work at a cost of $3.5 billion.
â€œNIF is well on its way to achieving breakthroughs in science never imagined. Through our readiness testing we will see glimpses of what that future will bring,â€ said Moses.