Tuesday 14 October 2008

Scientists preparing to Create a miniature star on Earth

The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was built to gather data on the thermonuclear reactions that occur inside atomic weapons.

Scientists are presently preparing an experiment to see if it could be used to harness fusion for unlimited, clean electricity.

The facility contains 192 of the world's most powerful lasers, which wend their way through a series of amplifiers inside the three-football-fields-long laser bay. At the end of their journey, their energy is focused onto a tiny target about the size of the end of your pinkie.

When the facility is up to full-power, sometime next year, the physicists hope the lasers will fuse hydrogen atoms inside the target into helium, giving off more power than was pumped into them.

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