In support of the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., the lab's researchers have produced a huge rapid-growth crystal. The 701-lb KDP crystal was grown in 52 days using an improved technique that doubles the yield, which deputy systems manager for final optics Alan Burnham noted could save millions of dollars for the laser fusion research facility. The crystal will be sliced into 0.5-in.-thick, 16.5-in.-sq plates for use in the laser's frequency conversion optics. The facility will require up to 600 nonlinear crystal plates that shift the laser's 1053-nm light to 350 nm just before the beams strike the deuterium-tritium target. Photo courtesy of Bryan Quintard and Jacqueline McBride at Lawrence Livermore.