US lab debuts super laser
2009 05 31
By Glenn Chapman | YahooNews.com
A US weapons lab on Friday pulled back the curtain on a super laser with the power to burn as hot as a star.
The National Ignition Facility's main purpose is to serve as a tool for gauging the reliability and safety of the US nuclear weapons arsenal but scientists say it could deliver breakthroughs in safe fusion power.
A US weapons lab pulled back the curtain on a super laser with the power to burn as hot as a star. (AFP/File/MONICA M. DAVEY)
"We have invented the world's largest laser system," actor-turned-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said during a dedication ceremony attended by thousands including state and national officials.
"We can create the stars right here on earth. And I can see already my friends in Hollywood being very upset that their stuff that they show on the big screen is obsolete. We have the real stuff right here."
NIF is touted as the world's highest-energy laser system. It is located inside the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about an hour's drive from San Francisco.
Equipment connected to a house-sized sphere can focus 192 laser beams on a small point, generating temperatures and pressures that exist at cores of stars or giant planets.
NIF will be able to create conditions and conduct experiments never before possible on Earth, according to the laboratory.
A fusion reaction triggered by the super laser hitting hydrogen atoms will produce more energy than was required to prompt "ignition," according to NIF director Edward Moses.
"This is the long-sought goal of 'energy gain' that has been the goal of fusion researchers for more than half a century," Moses said.
"NIF's success will be a scientific breakthrough of historic significance; the first demonstration of fusion ignition in a laboratory setting, duplicating on Earth the processes that power the stars."
Construction of the NIF began in 1997, funded by the US Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).
"NIF, a cornerstone of the National Nuclear Security Administration's effort to maintain our nuclear deterrent without nuclear testing, will play a vital role in reshaping national security in the 21st century," said NNSA administrator Tom D'Agostino.
"This one-of-a-kind facility is the only place in the world that is capable of providing some of the most critical technical means to safely maintain the viability of the nation's nuclear stockpile."
Scientists say that NIF also promises groundbreaking discoveries in planetary science and astrophysics by recreating conditions that exist in supernovas, black holes, and in the cores of giant planets.
Electricity derived from fusion reactions similar to what takes place in the sun could help sate humanity's growing appetite for green energy, according to lab officials.
"Very shortly we will engage in what many believe to be this nation's greatest challenge thus far, one that confronts not only the nation but all of mankind -- energy independence," said lab director George Miller.
The lab was founded in 1952 and describes itself as a research institution for science and technology applied to national security.
"This laser system is an incredible success not just for California, but for our country and our world," Schwarzenegger said.
"NIF has the potential to revolutionize our energy system, teaching us a new way to harness the energy of the sun to power our cars and homes."
Article from: YahooNews.com
us department of energy national nuclear security administration
Plasma Lasers for Shielding - and Advertising
Scientists Bend Laser Beams -- and Maybe Lightning
World's largest laser now ready for use
Tactial Laser Could Work Like Long-Range Napalm
'Invisible Wars' of the Future: E-bombs, Laser Guns and Acoustic Weapons
Boeing Begins Firing High-Energy Laser Aboard Advanced Tactical Laser Aircraft
Shooting clouds with lasers triggers electrical discharge
Navy Pushing Laser 'Holy Grail' to Weapons Grade
Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head
Latest News from our Front Page
Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy
2014 08 29
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April.
“The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said.
At a ...
China’s “Duplitecture” Cities Mimic the World’s Greatest Architectural Hits
2014 08 29
The best knockoffs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knockoffs go way beyond fashion. There are knockoff Apple stores that look so much like the real thing that some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knockoff cities. There are Venices with ...
Kiev loses control of Novoazovsk, rebel troops advance in southeast Ukraine
2014 08 29
Kiev’s troops had to leave the eastern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk to save their lives, said the country’s Security and Defense Council. The authorities admitted that self-defense forces are advancing and leading a counteroffensive in the southeast.
Along with Novoazovsk, Kiev troops have lost control over the villages of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine.
According to Ukraine’s ...
Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo
2014 08 29
For the first time in the capital city’s history, Mohammed is the most common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday.
Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå - SSB) has counted the population of Oslo and found that Mohammed is the most common male name in Oslo for the first time ever.
Jørgen Ouren of SSB said to NRK: “It is ...
Beaten to Death at McDonald’s
2014 08 29
To the four clean-cut college freshman out on a double date, it had seemed like a typical McDonald’s: spanking clean, well-lighted, and safe. It was in a good neighborhood too, right next to Texas A&M University in College Station -- a campus known for its friendly atmosphere and official down-home greeting: “howdy.”
Shortly after 2 A.M. that Sunday, they pulled into ...
|More News » |