What does it take to create a tiny, man-made star that will trigger a thermonuclear reaction inside of a laboratory?
How about a laser that concentrates 1,000 times the electric generating power of the entire United States into one-billionth of a second.
Not impressive enough for you?
Then how about this: The resulting explosion should produce 10 times the amount of energy used to create it, or more than 10,000 times the electric generating power of the United States!
The structure that will house this experiment, which is located in the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, covers an area roughly the size of three football fields, and the infrared laser that will cause the explosion will travel through almost a mile of lenses, mirrors and amplifiers in order to create a beam that will be 10 billion (yes, with a b) times more powerful than a standard household light bulb.
Let’s just hope they’ve got some bright minds working on this project, because otherwise we could bite off more than we can chew with our own man-made star.