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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

National Ignition Facility Cranks Laser Up to Record 500 Trillion Watts

• http://www.popsci.com, By Paul Adams
 In California, at the ultra-powerful fusion laboratory of the National Ignition Facility, 192 laser beams have fired simultaneously, blasting their target -- a circle 2 millimeters in diameter -- with 500 trillion watts. That's 1,000 times more than the entire rest of the United States was using at the time. It is the highest-energy laser shot ever fired in real life, although some fictional lasers have exceeded the record.

The NIF's ultimate goal is to induce nuclear fusion in a highly compressed pellet of hydrogen, which will be held at the target point of the laser beams.

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