Archive for the ‘Government Science’ category

NIF in the News

May 3, 2010

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.

One more day to submit research “Grand Challenge” ideas to the White House!

April 14, 2010

posted by: Damon Diehl

Peter Emmel just notified me that the White House has put forth a request for information (RFI) for new “Grand Challenges” for the 21st Century. In essence they are soliciting ideas for a new “Moon Shot.” There are no formal formatting instructions, and anyone can participate. It is essentially a public opinion poll on how research dollars will be spent… So speak up! The main PR site is here, but more detailed information is available from the original press release