Sunday, May 31, 2009

World's Largest Laser

World's largest laser opens for business in California

Another day, another laser... well, not so fast. This particular laser just so happens to officially carry the "world's largest title." Built at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California, and housed in the National Ignition Facility -- or NIF -- it was completed at the end of March, and has just now been officially dedicated and opened for business. The laser inside the three-football field-sized building will aim to create a "star" on earth by focusing 192 beams at a pea-sized target, generating temperatures over 100 million degrees and pressure over 100 billion times the earth's atmosphere. The process will create nuclear fusion -- the reaction that powers the sun and the stars. it sounds pretty complicated, and we'd hate to be in town if something goes awry, but we're crossing our fingers for the team! Hit the read link for much, much more information about the project.

LED Lights Positioned to replace CFLs

Some of the things many people have complained about on compact fluorescent light bulbs either aren’t true, or aren’t as true, with today’s bulbs as the first generation of them. They do warm up quicker now, and have more natural light tones.

But, it’s true that you can’t use them in dimmer switches, and they still contain mercury.

That’s why, especially as engineering lowers prices, more large-scale applications and users are going LED instead of CFL. In addition to these benefits, there’s another HUGE one for outdoor lighting, which is a drawback for LEDs in other spots.

Because LED lighting is directional, street lights get their light concentrated where it needs to be — and the night world outside city streets sees a cut in light pollution.