MORE ENERGY THAN WE'LL EVER NEED. We had spent $7 billion on fusion technology. Tonight see David Pogue and 60 Minutes.
When all that energy slams into millimeter-sized targets, it can generate unprecedented temperatures and pressures in the target materials—temperatures of more than 100 million degrees and pressures more than 100 billion times Earth's atmosphere. These conditions are similar to those in the stars and the cores of giant planets or in nuclear weapons; thus one of the NIF & Photon Science Directorate's missions is to provide a better understanding of the complex physics of nuclear weapons (see National Security). Researchers can also explore basic science, such as astrophysical phenomena, materials science, and nuclear science (see Understanding the Universe). NIF's other major mission is to provide scientists with the physics understanding necessary to create fusion ignition and energy gain for future energy production (see Energy for the Future).