Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

NIF is a premier international center for experimental science. The extreme temperatures and pressures created inside the NIF target chamber allow scientists from around the world to conduct unprecedented experiments in high-energy density science and gain new insights into such mysterious astrophysical phenomena as supernovae, giant planets, and black holes.

NIF’s 192 laser beams, housed in two laser bays, are focused onto a target assembly positioned inside the 10-meter-diameter target chamber. The world’s highest-energy laser supports the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Stockpile Stewardship Program and other national security activities, as well as Discovery science. In support of these missions, LLNL launched the age of controlled fusion ignition—the same process that powers the stars—in the laboratory with a history-making experiment at NIF on Dec. 5, 2022.

The combination of laser, target, and diagnostic capabilities available at NIF make it an unprecedented user facility for advancement of fusion research and other areas of science. The NIF lasers produce at least sixty times more energy than other operational laser systems. The behavior of mm- to cm-scale targets irradiated by the billionth of-a-second-long NIF laser pulse is measured by more than 100 state-of-the-art nuclear, x-ray, and optical diagnostics.

For further information on scientific opportunities at the NIF, please contact:
User Office
PHONE: (925) 422-2179