NIF in the News

posted by: Damon Diehl

CNN has a nice glossy article on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).  The goal of NIF is to generate energy through controlled fusion triggered by laser pulses. NIF is now the largest laser in the world, a title formerly held by the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) here in Rochester, NY. There’s some friendly competition between the two projects, but the relationship is fundamentally collaborative. There is a constant flow of technology, knowledge, and even personnel between the two projects. ASE is quite proud of our long history of supporting LLE (almost everyone who works here as also worked at LLE directly or indirectly over ASE’s history). My big contribution to the lab was developing the alignment method for the large mirrors that focus the back and side illumination onto the target during some experiments, a topic we may cover in a future entry, as it has a very nice blend of optics and mathematics (which is what I do best). ASE also has had a big hand in developing the many optical diagnostic packages that monitor the quality of the system as a whole.

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