Finally US engineers have completed the world’s most powerful laser that is capable of simulating the energy force of a hydrogen bomb and the sun itself.
The laser “will be a cornerstone” of the weapons stewardship program, “ensuring the continuing reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without underground nuclear testing,” Thomas D’Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, said in an interview on Monday.
The federal Energy Department announced that this super-laser has officially certified the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, clearing the way for a series of experiments in coming years that eventually is hoped will mimic the heat and pressure found at the center of the sun.
The facility, the size of a football field, comprises 192 separate laser beams, each traveling 1,000 feet in one-thousandth of a second to converge simultaneously on a target the size of a pencil eraser.
While the laser at the NIF, is expected to be used for a wide range of high-energy and high-density physics experiments, its primary purpose is to help government physicists ensure the reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons as they become older.