(Phys.org) —In the early morning hours of Aug.13, Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) focused all 192 of its ultra-powerful laser beams on a tiny deuterium-tritium filled capsule. In the nanoseconds that followed, the capsule imploded and released a neutron yield of nearly 3×1015, or approximately 8,000 joules of neutron energy—approximately three times NIF’s previous neutron yield record for cryogenic implosions.

The primary mission of NIF is to provide experimental insight and data for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s science-based stockpile stewardship program. The experiment attained conditions not observed since the days of underground nuclear weapons testing and represents an important milestone in the continuing demonstration that the stockpile can be kept safe, secure and reliable without a return to testing.

This newest accomplishment provides an important benchmark for the program’s computer simulation tools, and represents a step along the “path forward” for ignition delivered by the NNSA to Congress in December 2012.

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Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-08-laser-fusion-yields-energy.html#jCp

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