National Ignition Facility Beamline Produces 10.4 kJ
On the evening of May 30, researchers at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., achieved another milestone in laser science, obtaining a record 10.4-kJ pulse of 351-nm radiation from one beamline. The results indicate that the total output of the completed 192-beam system should exceed the design requirements of 1.8 MJ on target.
Each pulse starts as 1053-nm radiation with energies of a few nanojoules in an ytterbium-doped fiber master oscillator. The pulses are amplified in two stages of flashlamp-pumped Nd:glass and then frequency-tripled in KDP and deuterated KDP before they are delivered to the 10-m-diameter target chamber. The energies at the facility will enable investigations of high-energy-density physics and inertial confinement fusion.
Four of the beamlines have been activated, and the system is expected to be fully operational in 2008. Researchers plan to begin performing experiments at the facility later this year.
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