What can the most powerful laser in the world do?
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is undoubtedly an exceptional structure, as it is approximately 30 meters high and the size of three football fields. So what exactly does it hold?
A laser-based inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research instrument, the world’s most powerful laser.
It is also located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. The mission of the National Ignition Facility is to achieve fusion ignition with high energy gain. It also aims to explore the behavior of matter under the conditions found inside nuclear explosions.
Perhaps its most notable feature is that it is the largest and most powerful inertial confinement device yet manufactured. It hosts the most active lasers in the world. It was such an ambitious project that its construction began in 1997 and was completed only in 2009.
The enormous cost of producing a project that is considered one of the largest in the world
It also cost about four times its original projected budget. But it all seemed worth it, especially in November 2020, when National Ignition Facility researchers claimed to be one step closer to achieving fruitful nuclear fusion after decades of experimentation and challenges.
What was the result of this experiment? How can this laser simulate the core of a planet? What advances have been made from its use, and what are the most common experiences with its use? What upgrades and developments have been made to its operations since 2009? How does it compare to other high-energy lasers?
This video answers all these questions and more.