Skip to comments.NIF delivers 500 terawatts to fusion target
Posted on 07/16/2012 8:24:19 PM PDT by smokingfrog
Livermore, CA--On July 5, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) achieved a historic record-breaking laser shot. The NIF laser system of 192 beams delivered more than 500 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to its target. 500 TW is 1,000 times more power than the United States uses at any instant in time, and 1.85 MJ of energy is about 100 times what any other laser regularly produces today.
Combining extreme levels of energy and peak power on a target in the NIF is a critical requirement for achieving one of physics' grand challenges--igniting hydrogen fusion fuel in the laboratory and producing more energy than that supplied to the target. In the historic test, NIF's 192 lasers fired within a few trillionths of a second of each other onto a 2 mm diameter target. The total energy matched the amount requested by shot managers to within better than 1%. In addition, the beam-to-beam uniformity was within 1%, making NIF not only the highest energy laser of its kind but the most precise and reproducible, according to LLNL. "NIF is becoming everything scientists planned when it was conceived over two decades ago," NIF director Edward Moses said. "It is fully operational, and scientists are taking important steps toward achieving ignition and providing experimental access to user communities for national security, basic science and the quest for clean fusion energy."
The user community agrees. "The 500 TW shot is an extraordinary accomplishment by the NIF Team, creating unprecedented conditions in the laboratory that hitherto only existed deep in stellar interiors," said Dr. Richard Petrasso, senior research scientist and division head of high energy density physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
(Excerpt) Read more at laserfocusworld.com ...
Nuclear fusion that much closer.
I hear it’s only 20 years away after this.
It is! Just like 40 years ago.
Good Find! Thanks!
>> “Nuclear fusion that much closer.” <<
Not too sure of that now.
I did the layout when they were converting from “Nova” to the “Shiva” laser system there, back in the ‘80s. At that time they had estimated that about one millionth of that much power was going to do the job ‘soon.’
What next? They’ll be dimming the lights of the whole Bay Area when they reach the next level from this. (if we don’t just go broke first)
They don’t appear to be any closer than the late Kip Seagal was when he started with an Army surplus laser and his own bank account in Ann Arbor in the ‘70s.
A major weapons system. Combine it with a satellite mirror and GPS and you can wipe out anything on earth.
>> “I hear its only 20 years away after this.” <<
LOL! Yer an effin optimist!
Wow. Then why do we have power outages? Why are we pursuing solar and wind if we can release that much power? Why aren't we tapping this incredible source?
500TW is more power than the US uses at any instant.
They load up capacitors and discharge them quickly. It's not 500TW/h.
Power measurements depend on the discharge time.
That's what the author left out. Also why culinary school is better than journalism school.
It only lasted 1/5,000,000th of a second or some along that time span
The total laser energy was 1.85 megajoules. That’s a little more than a half kilowatt hour.