The Center for High Energy Density Science facilitates access for students and faculty to LLNL laser experimental facilities in order to support training and research for university students and faculty in research areas important to the Department of Energy (DOE) in high energy density (HED) science with lasers.
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is the world's largest and most energetic laser facility ever built. NIF is also the most precise and reproducible laser as well as the largest optical instrument. The giant laser has nearly 40,000 optics that precisely guide, reflect, amplify, and focus 192 laser beams onto a fusion target about the size of a pencil eraser. NIF became operational in March 2009. NIF is the size of a sports stadium—three football fields could fit inside.