The NIF is home to the highest-energy laser in the world—a composite of 192 lasers, all trained on one tiny pellet of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium. The pressure from the lasers is designed to compress the fuel pellet (inside a dime-sized cylinder called a hohlraum) until the deuterium and the tritium fuse together, releasing a huge burst of energy. The process is designed to replicate the inside of a star, mimicking the Sun's long-lasting, self-sufficient energy creation here on Earth for a vast, cheap supply of power.
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Researchers at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have made a major breakthrough toward achieving self-sustaining nuclear fusion.
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