THE OMEGA LASER
Omega EPOMEGA stands 10 meters tall and is approximately 100 meters in length. This system delivers pulses of laser energy to targets in order to measure the resulting nuclear and fluid dynamic events. OMEGA's 60 laser beams focus up to 40,000 joules of energy onto a target that measures less than 1 millimeter in diameter in approximately one billionth of a second. At LLE scientists continue to research what will one day become a vast source of power using the ocean's ample storehouse of potential energy.
OMEGA EP (extended performance) is an addition to OMEGA and extends the performance and capabilities of the OMEGA Laser System. It will provide pulses having multikilojoule energies, picosecond pulse widths, petawatt powers, and ultrahigh intensities exceeding 1020 W/cm2 . These beams are delivered to targets within the OMEGA target chamber as well as an independent chamber within the OMEGA EP target area. The co-location of petawatt capability with the OMEGA compression facility provides a unique platform to experimentally verify laboratory ignition-relevant design models. The short-pulse and long-pulse systems operating jointly are able to interrogate high-temperature and high-density regimes well beyond those currently available. The new laser is adjacent to the OMEGA laser and supports a wide variety of target irradiation conditions when coupled to OMEGA or operated in stand alone mode.
The penny is just for perspective. That little ball is the target.
All of this, is for the sake of research. The research of what high energy is and how it behaves.
So, is this more interesting than politics? What does everyone think of such a massive level of power being created? What about the amount of energy it eats up every time it's powered up? ... How about how awesome it is?