University of Rochester – LLE

“Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics is the largest university-based US Department of Energy program in the nation and is home to the OMEGA laser, the most powerful laser system found at any academic institution.

The facility has taken the lead in the laser direct-drive approach to fusion energy by blasting spherical deuterium-tritium fuel pellets with 60 laser beams, converging directly on the pellet surface from all directions at once. This causes the pellet to heat and implode, forming a plasma. If sufficiently high temperatures and pressures could be confined at the center of the implosion, a thermonuclear burn wave would propagate radially through the entire fuel mass, producing fusion energy yields many times greater than the energy input.”