The National Ignition Facility (NIF), located at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is close to the first demonstration of ignition, or nuclear fusion with energy gain – creating a fusion reaction that releases more energy than the energy required to initiate the reaction. NIF, the world's highest-energy laser, will use its 192 laser beams to compress and heat a peppercorn-size fuel capsule filled with deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen, causing the hydrogen atoms to fuse and release a tremendous burst of energy.
Once ignition is achieved, the world will be an important step closer to realizing the 50-year quest for fusion energy – the energy that fuels the sun and the stars. About a decade after ignition, a laser fusion engine prototype could demonstrate the suite of technologies necessary to generate fusion energy on the electric grid. Fusion energy is a carbon-free, sustainable, and safe energy source which could be powering your home and business within the next 30 years. Dr. Moses describes NIF's success to date and the path forward to fusion energy.
Dr. Edward Moses has 18 years of experience developing Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) laser systems and 30 years of experience developing and managing complex laser systems and high-technology projects. As associate director (AD) for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Program from 2005 to 2007 and now as principal associate director for the NIF & Photon Science Directorate, he is responsible for completing construction and bringing into full operation the world's largest optical instrument for achieving ignition in the laboratory and for studying inertial fusion energy. He has been instrumental in sustaining the program's current strong performance.
Dr. Moses joined Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in 1980, becoming program leader for isotope separation and material processing and deputy AD for Lasers. From 1990 to 1995, he was a founding partner of Advanced Technology Applications, Inc., which advised clients on proposing and designing high-technology projects. He returned to LLNL in 1995 as assistant AD for program development, physics, and space technology.
Dr. Moses received his bachelor's degree and doctorate from Cornell University in New York. He has won numerous awards, including the 2003 NNSA Award of Excellence for Significant Contribution to Stockpile Stewardship, the 2004 DOE Award of Excellence for the first joint LLNL/Los Alamos National Laboratory experiments on NIF, and the D.S. Rozhdestvensky Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Lasers and Optical Sciences. He holds seven patents in laser technology and computational physics.