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World’s Most Powerful Laser has the Energy of a Hydrogen Bomb

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posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:24 PM
Hi ATS guys and gals,
I have been visiting this site for a few months and find some threads very interesting. I decided to sign up when i came across this article a few moments ago. If a thread has already been started regarding this article i would appreciate anyone who posts the link so as i can join in the discussion as i have a few thoughts on that i would like to put forward regarding this very sophisticated and seemingly advanced weaponry.

This is the article -

At a cost of $3.5 billion and more than a decade of work, the 192 laser beams are billed as the most powerful in the world.

Scientists working at the National Ignition Facility of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, have built the most powerful laser in the world, capable of simulating the energy force of a hydrogen bomb and the sun itself.

“The system already has produced 25 times more energy than any other laser system,” said NIF Director Ed Moses.

The Energy Department is expected to announce Tuesday that it has officially certified the National Ignition Facility, which would clear the way for a series of experiments which scientists hope will eventually will mimic the heat and pressure found at the center of the sun.

The successful completion of the laser is the culmination of more than a decade of work at a cost of $3.5 billion.

“NIF is well on its way to achieving breakthroughs in science never imagined. Through our readiness testing we will see glimpses of what that future will bring,” said Moses.

NIF’s 192 laser beams, housed in a ten-story building the size of three football fields, travel a long path, about 1,000 feet, from their birth at one of the two master oscillators to the center of the target chamber. As the beams move through NIF’s amplifiers, their energy increases exponentially. From beginning to end, the beams’ total energy grows from one-billionth of a joule (a joule is the energy needed to lift a small apple one meter against the Earth’s gravity) to four million joules, a factor of more than a quadrillion - and it all happens in less than 25 billionths of a second.

Each master oscillator generates a very small, low-energy laser pulse. The pulse may range from 100 trillionths to 25 billionths of a second long, and has a specific temporal shape as requested by NIF experimenters.

The laser is expected to be used for a wide range of high-energy and high-density physics experiments, but its primary purpose is to assist government physicists in ensuring the reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons as they become older.

The Lawrence Livermore lab will be taking order of the world’s most powerful supercomputer –capable of performing at 20 petaflops (1 petaflop equals 1 thousand trillion floating-point operations per second), twenty times faster than the current record holder, and more powerful than all of the systems on the top 500 supercomputer list combined– currently being constructed by IBM under contract by the U.S. government, which will also be utilized to ensure the safety of the country’s nuclear weapons.

“We are well on our way to achieving what we set out to do – controlled, sustained nuclear fusion and energy gain for the first time ever in a laboratory setting,” said Director Moses.

“This laser technology has the potential to revolutionize our energy future,” California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said during a tour last year of the stadium-sized NIF facility. “If successful, this new endeavor could generate thousands of megawatts of carbon-free nuclear power but without the drawbacks of conventional nuclear plants. This type of innovation is why we are a world leader in science, technology and clean energy, and I could not be prouder that this work is happening right here in California.”

The project is a national collaboration among government, industry and academia and many industrial partners throughout the nation.

The NIF’s 192 laser beams are 60 to 70 times more powerful than the world’s second strongest - a 60-beam system located at the University of Rochester.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:50 PM
it's interesting but it the stated use seems to be clean energy rather than as a weapon, given the size of the building required to house it, using this thing as a weapon seems like science fiction.

EDIT TO ADD: i expect it'll take them no more than three weeks to come up with a viable weapons application.

[edit on 6/4/09 by pieman]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 01:53 PM
reply to post by Celtic-Man

Well, I for one am glad we invaded Iraq for all the right reasons, even though we found no weapons of mass destruction. We can't allow any nation to have any weapons of mass destruction, they are just too weapony-of-destructiony for me.

Snarkiness off.

What a bunch of horse-crap tacos, all in a row.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 02:39 PM
this just doesn't make sense to me everything has the same 'energy' as a hydrogen bomb, the total energy that's given off in a hydrogen bomb is equivalent to the weight of a paper clip.

i.e. if you could weigh the bomb before and after the explosion the difference would be that of a paper clip

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 02:50 PM
explosive power is measure aginst the tonnage of TNT, usually, so if a H bomb is 2000 tonnes of TNT then this lasers power is 2000 tonnes of TNT, i think.

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:06 PM
The laser seems to peak at four million joules. Hydrogen bombs produce energies measured in 10s or 1000s of TeraJoules. So, to say this laser produces energy similar to a hydrogen bomb is patently false. Also, the laser doesn't seem to exist as a continual beam, but rather a short burst of light, which is amplified quadrillions of times over. So you could never turn this laser on, point it at something, and watch it disintegrate.

Still, this is a very neat invention, and one hell of a powerful laser. The most powerful in the world, in fact!

[edit on 6-4-2009 by Kaytagg]

posted on Apr, 6 2009 @ 03:22 PM
Dr. Evil would be so proud!

With the power of the center of the sun, just don't point it straight down!

posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 07:19 AM
it will be interesting to see what they will do with the $3.5 billion dollar laser, they must have something big planned for it.

posted on Apr, 13 2009 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by jellyman1991

yes they do


posted on Apr, 14 2009 @ 05:42 AM
reply to post by punkinworks09

they could take out a whole city with that laser, i just hope they dont use it anytime soon because they could do some serious damage.

posted on Apr, 16 2009 @ 04:01 PM
Its not a weapon,

nor could it ever be a weapon, its in a building the size a small shopping mall
its a controlled nuclear fusion reactor experiment

posted on Apr, 20 2009 @ 02:42 PM

Originally posted by jellyman1991
reply to post by punkinworks09

they could take out a whole city with that laser, i just hope they dont use it anytime soon because they could do some serious damage.

Uh, no, they couldn't. How big is a city ?. What is the diameter of the beam ?. A LASER beam, no matter how powerful, will just burn what they point it at.

In the fusion context, they focus the beam on a very small pellet of deuterium. Unless the city they are focussing the beam on is composed of deuterium, there won't be any problem.

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