Laser Fusion

All those Flash Gordon-style death ray machines come to mind in this report on laser-generated nuclear fusion, at EnvironmentalResearchWeb:

Researchers in the US say they have made a crucial breakthrough towards achieving laser fusion and that they expect to generate the conditions for a sustained nuclear reaction by the end of the year.

These claims are backed up by the publication of the first science results from the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and among the highlights was a new world record for laser intensity.

[disinfo ed.: The National Ignition Facility, the world’s largest laser system, located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was featured in the BBC broadcast “Horizon” hosted by physicist Brian Cox. Here is the NIF portion of the program, which was entitled “Can We Make A Star On Earth?”]