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Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory technicians John Hollis (right) and Jim McElroy install a SIDE camera in the target bay of the NIF in January of 2009. The camera was the last of NIF’s 6,206 various opto-mechanical and controls system modules called “line replaceable units” or LRUs to be installed. The first LRU, a flashlamp, was installed on Sept. 26, 2001. (NIF/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)


“Creating a miniature star on Earth” is the goal of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), home to the world’s largest and highest-energy laser in Livermore, California.

This would have been a good idea for a movie like 10 years ago, before it was actually happening. Between this and the LHC (Large Hydron Collider), humans are taking some unbelievable strides in physics through international cooperation that didn’t exist a hundred years ago.

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