Laser Could Rival Energy From Sun’s Center

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From Yahoo News:

“LIVERMORE, Calif. – Ed Moses talks of the “grand challenge” that has consumed him for the past five years, comparing it to trying to hit the strike zone with a baseball from 350 miles away or tossing a dime into a parking meter from 40 miles. “That’s the precision we have to have,” says Moses, the director of a high-energy physics adventure to produce the world’s most powerful laser — one that scientists hope will create in a laboratory the energy found at the center of the sun.

In a building the size of a football stadium, engineers have assembled the framework for a network of 192 laser beams, each traveling 1,000 feet to converge simultaneously on a target the size of a pencil eraser.

The trip will take one-thousandth of a second during which the light’s energy is amplified many billions of times to create a brief laser pulse 1,000 times the electric generating power of the United States.

The goal is to create unimaginable heat — 180 million degrees Farenheit — and intense pressure from all directions on a BB-size hydrogen fuel pellet, compressing it to one-thirtieth of its size.”

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