What happens when you shoot off 192 of the world’s biggest, hottest … laser beams at one hydrogen fuel-packed, pea-sized target? A massive explosion
of energy that would make even stars glow with envy and shake large planets to their cores (literally). That’s what.
And that’s what’s going on in the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore Lab. The facility–which was officially dedicated on Friday at a ceremony attended by the likes of the Governator himself–houses the world’s largest laser. Scientists hope to mimic the nuclear fusion that powers stars and eventually harness the incredible energy reactions like that produce to replace other, dirtier, less efficient forms of energy. Mm, baby, clean energy. Is it just us, or did it just get hotter in here? Like, 100 million degrees hotter …
Oh, there’s just one tiny incidental detail we should probably mention: “Another of [the facility's] roles is to study the conditions associated with the inner workings of nuclear weapons.” Well, there’s the rub. Um, yeah, that’s kind of a buzz kill.
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