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Photo of the Week: Real-Life Laser Device or Star Trek Set?

December 27, 2013 - 2:45pm

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Both!

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large research device located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NIF uses powerful lasers to heat and compress hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place. It is currently the largest and most energetic inertial confinement fusion device in the world. Researchers use the NIF to ensure the safety of nuclear weapons, explore the potential of fusion as a safe energy source, and understand how the universe was created.
 
In this photo, NIF Team members Bruno Van Wonterghem (left), Jim Nally (pointing) and Rod Saunders watch through a newly installed viewing window, which allows the NIF team and visitors to see inside the chamber while it is vacuum-sealed for experiments.
 
Fun fact: NIF was also used as the set for the starship Enterprise’s warp core in the movie Star Trek Into Darkness. <a href="https://lasers.llnl.gov/" target="_blank">Learn more about the NIF</a>. | Photo courtesy of Jacqueline McBride, LLNL.

Both! The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large research device located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NIF uses powerful lasers to heat and compress hydrogen fuel to the point where nuclear fusion reactions take place. It is currently the largest and most energetic inertial confinement fusion device in the world. Researchers use the NIF to ensure the safety of nuclear weapons, explore the potential of fusion as a safe energy source, and understand how the universe was created. In this photo, NIF Team members Bruno Van Wonterghem (left), Jim Nally (pointing) and Rod Saunders watch through a newly installed viewing window, which allows the NIF team and visitors to see inside the chamber while it is vacuum-sealed for experiments. Fun fact: NIF was also used as the set for the starship Enterprise’s warp core in the movie Star Trek Into Darkness. Learn more about the NIF. | Photo courtesy of Jacqueline McBride, LLNL.

Every week, we'll feature our favorite energy-related photo here on Energy.gov, at Facebook.com/Energygov and on Twitter via @ENERGY. For other photos of the week, view our gallery. If you have ideas for Photo of the Week, send us an email at NewMedia@hq.doe.gov.

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