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National Ignition Facility

The largest and most powerful laser facility ever designed is currently being constructed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA. I had an opportunity to tour this facility earlier this year, and the sheer magnitude of this engineering project is staggering. The precision required for ignition has been compared to "trying to hit the strike zone with a baseball from 350 miles away". Although the scientists and politicians responsible for the National Ignition Facility claim it will help lessen the danger of nuclear weapons, many critics argue it is merely an attempt to work around certain non-proliferation treaties.
posted by muddgirl on May 23, 2005 - 31 comments

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