To further the advancement of fusion energy, national security, and a leadership in basic science and technology, the National Ignition Facility is attempting to create thermonuclear reactions by producing their own man-made star.
Located in Livermore, California, the ten story facility—which is also the size of about 3 football fields strung together—houses the world's largest laser, consisting of 192 laser beams made of hydrogen fuel, the same kind of energy that makes stars shine.
After travelling through almost a mile of lenses, mirrors and amplifiers, the lasers will converge in the centre of the chamber, creating a beam that is 10 billion times stronger than an average household light bulb. Within the chamber, the lasers will create a reaction that can only be found in the core of stars and planets, causing an explosion that will produce more than 10,000 times the electric energy generated by the United States per year. Check out the video below for more details on how the man-made star works. [NIF via Didnt You Hear?]