The 192-beam National Ignition Facility (NIF), a football-stadium sized laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, CA, is now operational. With planned peak energy of 1.8 MJ in the ultraviolet, NIF will be approximately fifty times more energetic than any previous inertial confinement fusion (ICF) laser system. A central goal of NIF is the demonstration of ICF ignition in laboratory, obtained via the compression and heating of mm-scale DT-filled cryogenic capsules to temperatures and densities of approximately 108 degrees K and 1000 gm/cm3, respectively. NIF can also provide access to extreme scientific environments, including pressures approximately 100 billion times atmospheric pressure. NIF's ability to access these extreme conditions will open new research frontiers and address compelling scientific questions in materials science, condensed matter physics, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and other areas. This talk will present recent results from the National Ignition Campaign (NIC), a national and international effort to demonstrate ignition at NIF, and also discuss current and planned fundamental science experiments at NIF.
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule