Thursday, May 28, 2009
National Ignition Facility Houses the World's Largest Laser
On Friday, May 29,2009, the National Ignition Facility (NIF for short) will be celebrating the new laser in Livermore,Californa.Officials have said that there will be an estimated number of 3,500 people attending including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and laser pinoeer Charles Townes.
How the Laser Works :
In most large lasers, there are white flashes from giant flashlamps. "A system of mirrors at both ends of the laser glass amplifier causes the photons to travel back and forth through the glass, stimulating more electrons to drop to their lower energy states and emit laser photons. This process results in "amplification," or the production of huge numbers of photons of the same wavelength and direction."
Some people have trouble reading science (including me) so NIF has created a little comic strip about where photons came from. It's very cute and it also explains scientific terms.
Source: National Ignition Facility & Photons, The New York Times
Pictures from the National Ignition Facility & Photons and the New York Times