500 terawatt shot - The preamplifiers of the National Ignition Facility (Photo: Damien Jemison/LLNL)
A view of a cryogenically cooled NIF target as "seen" by the laser through the hohlraum's laser entrance hole (Photo: NIF)
Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) have achieved a laser shot which boggles the mind: 192 beams delivered an excess of 500 trillion-watts (TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to a target of just two millimeters in diameter. To put those numbers into perspective, 500 TW is more than one thousand times the power that the entire United States uses at any instant in time. Pew-Pew indeed ...
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