Wanna Buy a Laser?

There’s an interesting post at RealClearScience on the sad story of the world’s highest energy laser:

So you spent 17 years and $5 billion to build a fusion experiment. You built a facility wider than the length of three football fields. You built a 400-foot-long laser with more than 33,000 optical parts; it is currently the highest energy laser in the world. You’ve been through more budget overruns and management problems than you’d care to admit.

Now, you finally turn the thing on at full power and carry out your experiment. And it fails monumentally. Now what?

I would have thought they would have had a backlog. Apparently not.

1 comment… add one

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    Note that the article ends on the note that fusion energy is worth spending billions of dollars, even if it will take a few more decades to figure it out. Same story I was hearing as a boy in the 1970s.

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