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Encyclopedia > National Ignition Facility
A construction worker inside NIF's 10 meter target chamber. Almost all of the engineering on the NIF laser is on an enormous scale.
A construction worker inside NIF's 10 meter target chamber. Almost all of the engineering on the NIF laser is on an enormous scale.

The National Ignition Facility, or NIF, is an ultra-high power laser research device currently under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in Livermore, California. NIF target chamber File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... NIF target chamber File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Laser (US Air Force) A LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is an optical device which uses a quantum mechanical effect called stimulated emission (discovered by Einstein while researching the photoelectric effect) in order to generate a coherent beam of light from a lasing medium of controlled purity... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area. ... The city of Livermore highlighted within Alameda County Livermore is a city located in Alameda County, California. ...

The NIF will be used for multiple exercises, however, the devices main roles will be nuclear weapons testing for the United States [1], and fusion power experiments. The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ... The Sun is a natural fusion reactor. ...

The device will use inertial confinement to enable scientists to study nuclear fusion and other processes involving extremely dense plasmas. The NIF's implementation of the concept uses 192 high-powered lasers, each traveling 1,000 feet (305 meters), to compress a beryllium covered deuterium-tritium (D+T) fuel pellet the size of a BB to densities of up to 1000 grams per cubic centimeter, over 6 times the density of the centre of the Sun. The lasers will fire beams totaling 500 terawatts of power (1,000 times the electric generating power of the United States in 2004) for a few billionths of a second, in order to achieve the desired effect. As of March 2004, four of the lasers have been completed. In inertial confinement fusion (ICF), nuclear fusion reactions are initiated by heating and compressing a target – a pellet that most often contains deuterium and tritium – by the use of intense laser or ion beams. ... A Plasma lamp In physics and chemistry, a plasma is an ionized gas, and is usually considered to be a distinct phase of matter. ... General Name, Symbol, Number beryllium, Be, 4 Chemical series alkaline earth metals Group, Period, Block 2, 2, s Appearance white-gray metallic Atomic mass 9. ... Deuterium, also called heavy hydrogen, is a stable isotope of hydrogen with a natural abundance of one atom in 6500 of hydrogen. ... Tritium (symbol T or 3H) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. ... A BB gun is a pneumatic gun usually powered by compressed gas, electric revolution, or a spring. ... The Sun is the star at the centre of our Solar system. ... The watt (symbol: W) is the SI derived unit for power. ... 2004 is a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2004 : January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December Deaths • 08 Abu Abbas • 20 Queen Juliana • 28 Peter Ustinov • 30 Alistair Cooke More March 2004 deaths Ongoing events EU Enlargement Exploration of Mars: Rovers Haiti Rebellion Israeli-Palestinian conflict Occupation of Iraq Same-sex marriage in...

The process is predicted to achieve self-sustaining nuclear fusion reactions, or ignition. Construction of the NIF is expected to be completed in 2008 with the first fusion ignition tests planned for 2010. When first proposed in the early 1990s, the cost for a "super laser" was estimated at less then $700 million. Current estimates put the ultimate cost between $3.5 and $6 billion. The fusion energy gain factor, usually expressed with the symbol Q, is the ratio of fusion power produced in a nuclear fusion reactor to the power required to maintain the plasma in steady state. ... // Predicted events January-June January 15 - NASAs MESSENGER spacecraft makes the first of three flybys of Mercury. ... 2010 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... // Events and trends The 1990s are generally classified as having moved slightly away from the more conservative 1980s, but keeping the same mind-set. ...

External links

  • National Ignition Facility homepage


  • "Building the world's most powerful laser". CNN. Retrieved Jun. 17, 2005.



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