Laser Fusion Milestone

The announcement of the latest progress in laser fusion was a model of careful statement by all of the people involved. They were Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Jill Hruby,  White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Arati Prabhakar, NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs Marvin “Marv” Adams, and LLNL Director Kim Budil.

Their comments emphasized the time it’s taken to get to this point – 60 years since the National Ignition Facility (NIF) was proposed, generations of researchers, many ups and downs in constructing NIF and making it work, the development of the tiny, multilayered targets and the hohlraums, containers for the targets that concentrate the energy of 192 lasers still further.

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Links – March 30, 2018

Three similar op-eds about the unified expulsions of Russian diplomats, from Kadri Liik, Shashank Joshi, and Mark Galeotti. Bottom line: In the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Vladimir Putin has supplied the last straw so that other world leaders will not tolerate his attempts at deniability, which are no longer plausible.

One of the reasons that this broad rebuke has a good chance to influence Russia is that Putin would like to rebrand Russia as a great power, but he’s having difficulty doing so. Read More