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Proceedings Paper

The National Ignition Facility
Author(s): George H. Miller
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Paper Abstract

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a stadium-sized facility containing a 192-beam, 1.8-Megajoule, 500-Terawatt, ultraviolet laser system together with a 10-meter-diameter target chamber and room for 100 diagnostics. NIF is the world's largest and most energetic laser experimental system, providing a scientific center to study inertial confinement fusion and matter at extreme energy densities and pressures. NIF's energetic laser beams will compress fusion targets to conditions required for thermonuclear burn, liberating more energy than required to initiate the fusion reactions. Other NIF experiments will study physical processes at temperatures approaching 10 8 K and 10 11 bar; conditions that exist naturally only in the interior of stars and planets. NIF has completed the first phases of its laser commissioning program. The first four beams of NIF have generated 106 kilojoules in 23-ns pulses of infrared light and over 16 kJ in 3.5-ns pulses at the third harmonic (351 nm). NIF's target experimental systems are being commissioned and experiments have begun. This paper discusses NIF's current and future experimental capability, plans for diagnostics, cryogenic target systems, specialized optics for experiments, and potential enhancements to NIF such as multi-color laser operation and high-energy short-pulse operation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 May 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5341, Optical Engineering at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory II: The National Ignition Facility, (28 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.538462
Show Author Affiliations
George H. Miller, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5341:
Optical Engineering at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory II: The National Ignition Facility
Monya A. Lane; Craig R. Wuest, Editor(s)

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