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Keynote Speaker Dr. Edward Moses

The NIF: an International User Facility for High Energy Density and Inertial Fusion Science


The National Ignition Facility (NIF), operational since March 2009, is transitioning to an international user facility for high-energy-density science (HEDS) and inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research. The NIF, the world's largest and most energetic laser facility consists of 192 Nd-glass lasers, a control room and a target chamber. NIF is the first laser system built to demonstrate thermonuclear burn of deuterium-tritium–filled ICF capsules. NIF's high-powered, high-energy lasers can compress and heat material to produce unique states of matter and radiation environments in the laboratory—conditions of interest to HEDS supporting national security and fundamental science. Achieving ignition on NIF will also demonstrate the target physics basis of ICF for energy production. The NIF laser's unprecedented power, precision, and reproducibility, coupled with sophisticated target and diagnostic capabilities, are enabling leading edge experiments in the study of matter at extreme temperatures and pressures—conditions that exists in planetary interiors. This paper describes NIF's unprecedented current and future capabilities and the experimental results achieved so far.


Dr. Edward Moses is the Principal Associate Director for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Livermore, California responsible for National Ignition Facility and Photon Science (NIF&PS) organization. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is the world's largest and most energetic laser with applications to issues of strategic security, fundamental science and fusion energy. Dr. Moses is also the Director of the National Ignition Campaign (NIC). The goal of the NIC, an international collaboration of national laboratories, industry and academia, is to achieve fusion ignition in the laboratory — the culmination of a 50-year quest. Dr. Moses has a career in high technology and big science projects reaching back to 1980 which included using high power laser systems to process materials, leading a team that developed the Peregrine Cancer Treatment System and many other technology areas in lasers, optics, control systems, and diagnostics. Dr. Moses has received many honors, including the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the 2009 Edward Teller Medal for his leadership in the development and completion of the NIF, the Fusion Power Associates 2008 Leadership Award, the Memorial D.S. Rozhdestvensky Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Lasers and Optical Sciences, and the R&D 100 Award for the Peregrine radiation therapy program. Recently, he received the Project of the Year Award, the highest accolade of the Project Management Institute (PMI), for leading the NIF. He has several other awards for outstanding achievements in project management and construction safety.

Dr. Moses is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of SPIE. He is a member of the California Council on Science and Technology. Dr. Moses received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Cornell University. He holds patents in laser technology, inertial fusion energy, and computational physics. Dr. Mose