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Lasers & Sources

Thousands attend NIF dedication

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Ed Moses, and George Miller at the NIF dedication

California Senator Dianne Feinstein speaks at the dedication of the National Ignition Facility on May 29 as NIF Director Ed Moses and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director George Miller look on.

With thousands in attendance, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was officially dedicated today, setting into motion the next chapter of one of the country's greatest scientific assets.

NIF, the world's highest-energy laser system, consists of 192 laser beams that will focus nearly two million joules of energy and create temperatures and pressures that exist in the cores of stars and giant planets. By harnessing the massive power generated by its lasers, NIF will be able to create conditions and conduct a wide range of experiments never before possible on earth.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, construction of NIF began in 1997 with three scientific missions in mind. Its first mission is to serve as a key component of the National Nuclear Security Administration's Stockpile Stewardship Program to ensure the safety and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent without the need for nuclear testing.

Full press release from LLNL.

SPIE Newsroom video podcast: an interview with NIF Director Ed Moses.