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Most Powerful Laser Evar!

Ghostchrome

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Super laser to solve the world's energy problems? i don't know about that, but it sure is powerful.

Via Gizmodo:

America Fires the Most Powerful Laser In History


The United States' National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California has fired the most powerful laser in history, a record-breaking 2-megajoule shot. The laser was originally designed to reach 1.875-megajoules, but beat everyone's expectations—and set a new world record in the process.
192 laser beams combined to form the single shot, initially reaching 1.875 megajoules. By the time it passed through its final focusing lens, the laser maxed out at 2.03 megajoules, making it the world's first 2-megajoule ultraviolet laser. Better yet, the blast caused less damage to the laser optics than predicted, which allowed the facility to fire another shot just 36 hours after the 2.03-megajoule one.

How it works
It all starts with a single laser, which is split into 48 separate beams. The beams are then redirected, using mirrors, into amplifiers that have been previously pumped by a total of 7,680 Xenon flash lamps. After four bounces, the beams are further split into 192 rays through all the facility—which is the size of three football fields. As they travel through those endless tubes, the beams are amplified again at an exponential rate.

The result: from a tiny 1/billionth of a joule laser, the scientists at the National Ignition Facility obtain rays "a foot on their side" with a combined "2.03 million joules of ultraviolet energy," 1,000 times the energy of all the power plants in the United States combined, even while it's only for a fraction of a second.

This time, the facility wasn't firing into any target. This will come later in the year, as the facility—which is supported by the US Nuclear Weapons Complex—races to achieve ignition in its first nuclear fusion experiment.

What does that entail? The powerful lasers will compress this frozen hydrogen fuel cell, which will itself be enclosed in a gold-plated cylinder called the hohlraum. The hohlraum is located inside a 32.8-foot-diameter ignition chamber, and it will transform the lasers into extremely intense X-rays, compressing the hydrogen at one hundred billion atmospheres in just 1/1,000,000 of a second.

This will trigger a controlled nuclear fusion reaction that will create a small star, hopefully generating more power than the energy used to fire the laser and contain the intense heat inside the chamber. If this is successful, we may be witnessing the beginning of a new clean power source that may end our dependency on fission nuclear power, oil and coal.
 

Eudaimonium

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If they can achieve and harvest the energy from a nuclear fusion, then hell, that's great news. Like they did with nuclear fission. That was rather fun, ask people over at Chernobyl and Fukushima.

To compare destructive forces, the yield of an atomic bomb (fission type) which was used on Hiroshima was around 13-18 kilotons.
Little Boy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The only fusion-type nuclear weapon tested to date that we know of was Russian Tsar Bomba. Yield = 55 megatons.
Tsar Bomba - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fireball created by the explosion was 10 kilometers wide. Mushroom cloud was 64 kilometers high. It's total destruction radius was analyzed as 35 kilometers in radius, that is, 70 kilometers in diameter. That does not take into consideration the nuclear fallout or anything. Simply the shockwave destruction.

Worst part is, the design was capable of 100Mt yield but was reduced to 50 for the sake of reducing the nuclear fallout. On a nuclear testing range.

It's all bull, people. Here's a wiki entry of what is called "planet's energy budget".
Earth's energy budget - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Highlights:

Total energy flux of planet Earth is around 174 PetaWatts.
Incoming solar radiation (visible and invisible) makes 173 PetaWatts, that is 99.97% .
Fossil fuels that we're so fond of make about 0.007%. The total energy used by commercial energy sources from 1880 to 2000 (including fossil fuels and nuclear) is calculated to be 17.3x10^21 Joules.


Now imagine everything if we only put some sort of half-a$$ed attempt at harvesting what we have in nearly unlimited quantities. The Sun is like, there, man! It's a ball of nuclear hellfire fusion spewing seemingly unlimited energy at us, but nope, you want to make a small version of that over here, which is about 149.6 million kilometers closer than it has any right to be.

But hey, lasers.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth%27s_energy_budget#cite_note-4
 
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iamsam1117

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Wow, this sure was an interesting read!
thank you Eudai for that extra information it was eye opening to say the least
 




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