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The National Ignition Facility: The World's Largest Laser

Description: The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a 192-beam laser facility presently under construction at LLNL. When completed, NIF will be a 1.8-MJ, 500-TW ultraviolet laser system. Its missions are to obtain fusion ignition and to perform high energy density experiments in support of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. Four of the NIF beams have been commissioned to demonstrate laser performance including target and beam alignment. During this time, NIF demonstrated on a single-beam basis that it will meet its performance goals and demonstrated its precision and flexibility for pulse shaping, pointing, timing and beam conditioning. It also performed four important experiments for Inertial Confinement Fusion and High Energy Density Science. Presently, the project is installing production hardware to complete the project in 2009 with the goal to begin ignition experiments in 2010. An integrated plan has been developed including the NIF operations, user equipment such as diagnostics and cryogenic target capability, and experiments and calculations to meet this goal.
Date: September 29, 2005
Creator: Moses, E I; Bibeau, C; Bonanno, R E; Haynam, C A; MacGowan, B J; Kauffman, R L et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Generation of mono-energetic, high brightness gamma-rays requires state of the art lasers to both produce a low emittance electron beam in the linac and high intensity, narrow linewidth laser photons for scattering with the relativistic electrons. Here, we overview the laser systems for the 3rd generation Monoenergetic Gamma-ray Source (MEGa-ray) currently under construction at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL). We also describe a method for increasing the efficiency of laser Compton scattering through laser pulse recirculation. The fiber-based photoinjector laser will produce 50 {micro}J temporally and spatially shaped UV pulses at 120 Hz to generate a low emittance electron beam in the X-band RF photoinjector. The interaction laser generates high intensity photons that focus into the interaction region and scatter off the accelerated electrons. This system utilizes chirped pulse amplification and commercial diode pumped solid state Nd:YAG amplifiers to produce 0.5 J, 10 ps, 120 Hz pulses at 1064 nm and up to 0.2 J after frequency doubling. A single passively mode-locked Ytterbium fiber oscillator seeds both laser systems and provides a timing synch with the linac.
Date: April 20, 2010
Creator: Shverdin, M Y; Bayramian, A; Albert, F; Anderson, S G; Betts, S M; Chu, T S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Hard X-ray and Hot Electron Environment in Vacuum Hohlraums at NIF

Description: Time resolved hard x-ray images (hv > 9 keV) and time integrated hard x-ray spectra (hv = 18-150 keV) from vacuum hohlraums irradiated with four 351 nm wavelength NIF laser beams are presented as a function of hohlraum size and laser power and duration. The hard x-ray images and spectra provide insight into the time evolution of the hohlraum plasma filling and the production of hot electrons. The fraction of laser energy detected as hot electrons (f{sub hot}) and a comparison to a filling model are presented.
Date: September 22, 2005
Creator: McDonald, J. W.; Suter, L. J.; Landen, O. L.; Foster, J. M.; Celeste, J. R.; Holder, J. P. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department