The United States' National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California has fired the most powerful laser in history, a record-breaking 2-megajoule shot. The laser was originally designed to reach 1.875-megajoules, but beat everyone's expectations—and set a new world record in the process.
While CERN researchers are busy potentially obliterating the Earth by creating a black hole in France, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore Lab have their own Doomsday machine: a 10-story laser that may well create a miniature star over Northern California.
The folks at the national Ignition Facility decided to demonstrate fusion by focusing the energy of 192 super powerful lasers onto a tiny target. They certainly proved their concept by producing a one megajoule laser shot. Yeah, that's pretty powerful.
It may look like a mid-70s prog rock album cover, but this is actually an illustration of the potential future of thermonuclear energy production in progress.
If you live in San Francisco's Bay Area and your name is Darth Vader, head to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for the hottest laser action in the galaxy. Instead of destroying planets, however, the $3-billion National Ignition Facility will be used to fuse hydrogen atoms to create a small star and, in theory,…