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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

— Science

Record-setting 500 trillion-watt laser shot achieved

By - July 14, 2012 2 Pictures
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 ... Read More
— Science

World's first hard X-ray free-electron laser images intact viruses

By - February 7, 2011 4 Pictures
An international team of scientists has obtained the world’s first single-shot images of intact viruses – a technology that could ultimately lead to moving video of molecules, viruses and live microbes. The team was also able to successfully utilize a new shortcut for determining the 3D structures of proteins. Both advances were achieved using the world’s first hard X-ray free-electron laser – the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) – which scientists hope could revolutionize the study of life. Read More
— Digital Cameras

New software processes hundred-billion-pixel photos in seconds

By - October 31, 2010 8 Pictures
Computer scientists from the University of Utah have developed computer software that allows editing of "extreme resolution" image files in a matter of seconds, a process that could previously have taken hours. Whereas existing editing suites require the full gigapixel image to be loaded into a computer's memory before manipulation can begin, the new development draws a lower resolution preview image from an externally-stored image into the editing screen. Users are said to benefit from being able to make image-wide modifications in seconds rather than hours and on devices normally not nearly powerful enough for such things. Read More
— Medical

New detection technology identifies thousands of bacteria and viruses within 24 hours

By - May 11, 2010 2 Pictures
Researchers from a national security laboratory in the U.S. have announced a technology which can detect the presence of thousands of microorganisms in just 24 hours. Hundreds of thousands of probes on a 1 x 3 inch glass slide can look for the entire range of known viruses and bacteria in a single test, which could prove invaluable in product safety testing, medical diagnosis and bioterrorism detection and prevention. Read More
— Science

World's largest laser takes first steps towards nuclear fusion reaction

The quest to create a controlled fusion reaction is underway at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), with scientists reporting early progress ahead of ignition experiments which are due to start later this year. The ultimate aim of the world's largest laser - which is the size of three football fields - is to develop carbon-free, limitless fusion energy. Read More
— Science

Scientists discover new superheavy element 117

By - April 13, 2010 2 Pictures
Posters of the periodic table on the walls of science labs in schools around the world will need to be updated after the discovery of the newest superheavy element, element 117. With the temporary name of ununseptium, the temporary symbol Uus and the atomic number 117, it was the only missing element in row seven of the periodic table until its discovery by an international team of scientists from Russia and the U.S. Read More
— Science

World record 1 megajoule laser shot hits target

By - February 2, 2010 2 Pictures
In their quest to be the first to trigger a nuclear fusion reaction using lasers scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have delivered more than one megajoule of laser energy to a target. The peak power of the laser light, which was delivered within a few billionths of a second, was about 500 times that used by the United States at any given time and demonstrates the target drive conditions required to achieve fusion ignition. Read More
— Research Watch Feature

This battle station is fully operational - the world's largest laser nears completion

Lasers, is there anything they can’t do? If they’re not shooting down UAVs, they’re fighting AIDS or bringing us the next generation of HDTVs. That’s all well and good, but when it comes to lasers there’s none bigger than the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California - an instrument capable of delivering 500 trillion watts of power in a 20-nanosecond burst which is now nearing completion. Its myriad uses will include providing fusion data for nuclear weapons simulations, probing the secrets of extrasolar planets and could even lead to the holy grail of energy production - practical fusion energy. Read More
— Science

IBM closes in on petaflop barrier

By - November 13, 2007 2 Pictures
November 14, 2007 Astronomical figures abound in the world of supercomputing and the numbers have just become even more astounding with IBM continuing its four-year domination of the official TOP500 Supercomputer Sites List with a new world record courtesy of the Blue Gene/L supercomputer. Although the Blue Gene/L, located at the Lawrence Livermore national Laboratory in California, has held the number one position since November 2004, the system was significantly expanded this summer to deliver a sustained performance of 478 trillion calculations per second (478 “teraflops”). Read More

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