Volume 87 Issue 13 | pp. 30-33
Issue Date: March 30, 2009

192 Lasers Converge

Livermore Lab's National Ignition Facility is gearing up to focus on the inner workings of planets and stars, fusion energy research
Department: Science & Technology

START WITH a small, low-energy laser pulse. Split that into 48 beams and amplify them to about 5 J apiece. Then, split the 48 into 192 beams, each about 40 cm2, and amplify again until they reach about 20 kJ each.

Run the beams to a spherical chamber—half to circle the top hemisphere, half to circle the bottom. Angle them into the chamber, convert them from infrared to ultraviolet light, and converge them on a . . .

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