LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) - The world's most powerful laser is
prepped and ready to begin scanning the heavens form its perch about an hour from San Francisco.
The super laser, whose technical name is the National Ignition Facility, was unveiled Friday at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It consists of 192 laser beams capable of generating as much energy found in the cores of stars and giant planets.
Federal officials say they plan to put it into use on a multifaceted assignment that will include ensuring that aging nuclear weapons are still functioning properly.
It will also be used for experiments in developing green energy programs and in studying the cosmos.