Thursday, March 22, 2012
America Fires the Most Powerful Laser In History
Besides being awesome, this is a step to creating economical fusion.
The NIF is racing to achieve ignition before the end of the fiscal year, when a two-year ignition campaign ends. A larger question for the field of laser fusion is who will support it as a possible energy source. The construction and operation of the NIF has been supported by the US Nuclear Weapons Complex, which uses the facility to test the physics of nuclear bombs, and the US Department of Energy’s fusion-energy budget goes almost entirely to an alternative approach that uses magnets rather than lasers to induce fusion.