The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) precisely guides, amplifies, reflects, and focuses 192 powerful laser beams into a target about the size of a pencil eraser in a few billionths of a second, delivering more than 2 million joules of ultraviolet energy and 500 trillion watts of peak power.
The NIF’s laser system generates temperatures in the target of more than 180 million degrees Fahrenheit and pressures of more than 100 billion Earth atmospheres. Those extreme conditions cause hydrogen atoms in the target to fuse and release energy in a controlled thermonuclear reaction. NIF’s experiments such as this provide the scientific basis for a revolution in energy production.
Inertial fusion energy offers the potential for virtually unlimited safe and sustainable clean energy by harnessing the power of the sun and stars. Achieving these heights of energy production requires using highly precise optics–the kind of optics produced by Zygo.