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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Beam us up NIF!

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/05/22/beam_us_up_national_ignition_facility_star_trek?page=0,1

Excerpts:

While NIF has conducted more than 1,000 laser "shots" and set multiple records for laser power -- including a 500-terawatt shot on July 5, 2012 -- the latest goal of achieving ignition by October 1, 2012 (set in 2009) came and went. For reasons unknown, the laser's energy is only generating pressures in the target of 150 billion times the Earth's atmosphere -- about half of what is required for ignition. Moses told the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this month that he cannot predict when -- or if -- ignition will ever be achieved. "Our goal is of course ignition," he said. "The goal is to get there or understand why you don't." Moses estimates that total costs have reached $5 billion, although a local grassroots watchdog organization asserts costs are closer to $7.5 billion, because the laboratory has been allowed to charge some of NIF's costs to other programs. NIF's current annual costs are at least $400 million. (By comparison, the estimated budget for Star Trek Into Darkness was $190 million.)

Although NIF's weapons-related role may be fading, thanks to growing congressional frustration with slipping deadlines, a failure to achieve its primary objective, and the budgetary effects of sequestration, Star Trek has given some NIF personnel a brief bit of glory, albeit in a way that foreshadows a less than rosy future. As Simon Pegg, who plays Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott ("Scotty"), explained to io9.com, "All of those guys with red shirts in the warp core [are] all just guys from NIF who just wanted to be in Star Trek. Bruno [Van Wonterghem], the project leader there, who is the guy who will discover fusion and will go down as the next Edison" is in the background. If Moses, Van Wonterghem, and their colleagues are true Trek aficionados, the irony won't be lost on them. In Star Trek lore, anonymous crewmembers wearing red shirts are usually the first to die.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The goal is to get there or understand why you don't."

Moses

Really, did Moses just establish a new goal for HIF, "understand why you don't"? Understand why you don't what?

Anonymous said...

... leave skid marks in the upholstery when you rip a wet one on Ed's favorite chain...

... get more funding after missing your milestone TWICE

... get any respect for the kind of EoS work your team performs..

So many ways to complete that sentence

Anonymous said...

leave skid marks in the upholstery when you rip a wet one on Ed's favorite chain...

May 23, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Ed has upholstered chains? And people straddle them? Now that's really kinky. Spell check, idiot.

LOL said...

This blog is so full of pathetic and sour people it is almost hilarious. :-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah those 3 ways to complete the sentence were weeeakkkk anyways bayyybeee!!!!! Yeaaahhh!!!! You need to do better bayybeee! how about:

..."have a snowball's chance in hell in making any progress on LIFE if you can't even achieve ignition..."

..."pursue laser EoS if you are still paying the price for the Nova D2 EoS fiasco"

..."rely on the ignition team to save face for the stockpile stewerdship experiments..."

..."want to do Pu NIF shots because you can't even analyze the streak camera films credibly."

..."want to stick around before the shite hits the fan, after all Bruce is no dummy and he made a jump to safety."

..."perpetuate the con by getting the Star Trek franchise involved to divort all attention away from FAILURE."

..."want to forget to put spelling and grammar errors into your posts to give the low-intellegence posters something to comment on, since they are incapable of making any other arguments beyond those that focus on 'Obama' or 'flatulence' or the 'unions.'"

..."want to donate money to private organizations that fund basic research in the United States.. because apparently those organizations don't exist according to some not-too-bright individual..."


Hehehehe the grammer and spelling nazi issues are all mute points by the way. He is so predictable and so sad. Why you let me play you like a puppet?

Anonymous said...

hehehehe

Anonymous said...

What's really pathetic is that the lab is still paying the price for Nova D2 EoS. Even Campbell's fraud is essentially forgotten. But the EoS problem pile will only grow because you can add "current problems" to the pile.

Anonymous said...

NIF was unable to ruin the new Star Trek movie like they ruined LLNL, J.J. Abrams should count his blessings.

Anonymous said...

NIF was unable to ruin the new Star Trek movie like they ruined LLNL,

May 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM

The director and the script ruined it - they didn't need NIF to do that.

Anonymous said...

That whole franchise was downhill after Wrath of Khan

Anonymous said...

No, it was downhill after "the trouble with Tribbles"

Anonymous said...

Quite honestly, the NIF background looks like a cheap movie set in the Star Trek movie. How much did Moses pay the Star Trek movie producers to do this? Moses will stop at nothing to promote NIF; taxpayers are paying through their "ears" for this guy's "obsession". Someone needs to put an end to this charade.

Anonymous said...

"Understand Why You Don't", by John Moses, copyright 2013, paperback, price per book, $600M

Anonymous said...

It's appalling that Moses made the statement "understand why you don't". He's admitted the failure NIF. It's clear that ignition is no longer the goal, but pursuit of why it didn't occur.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
It's appalling that Moses made the statement "understand why you don't". He's admitted the failure NIF. It's clear that ignition is no longer the goal, but pursuit of why it didn't occur.

May 24, 2013 at 5:13 PM

If this be the case then congress should cut the funding entirely and let NIF depend on WFO and Weapons only funding. This will result in at least a 50% reduction in man-power need to run the facility. Maybe that ISP will be coming after all between Oct 1st and Dec 25th, 2013

Anonymous said...

So long as they don't find the cause, they could conceivably keep going on and on, saying "what a difficult problem it is." "I looked under the rock over there, but I couldn't find the root cause for failure... Looked in that broom closet... Same.... Turned over that piece of paper... Nothing... I asked that squirrel over there... Inconclusive... Looks like NNSA will just have to keep giving up more money until we find that darned root cause..."

Anonymous said...

That is the problem with their new mission. They have every incentive to be intellectually dishonest and turn a blind eye to anything that hints of a show stopper. LLNL is notorious for they way their scientists integrate confirmation bias into much of their work. They start with the conclusion that ignition on NIF currently or with reasonable modifications is possible in the short term. Any evidence that suggests that the conclusion is false is not even taken seriously. That is indicative if a sick organization. Doubling down on a platform when so much confirmation bias went into the design is a recipe for monumental and shameful failure.

Anonymous said...

Hey NNSA, LLNS (Moses) found a new mission for NIF. NIF Mission: Understand Why You Don't". Start "ponying up the money" you dumb asses.

Anonymous said...

That's the problem with NNSA, they have no brains.

Anonymous said...

And yet they are smarter than the managers at LLNL and LANL.

Anonymous said...

NNSA surely is stupid, after all they let the abomination called NIF get funded in the first place. Now they got a white elephant on their hands and all it does is produce crap. NNSA is spineless for not cutting that whole program. DAHRT, Z, omega all could use that money for stockpile stewardship. Every day that NNSA keep funding NIF that is built on a web of lies, is just more confirmation as to NNSA's stupidity. At this point blaming the victim (NNSA) is completely appropriate as they have done nothing to fix their mistake.

Anonymous said...

NNSA's stupidity is grounded in all the politics. LLNL's stupidity is grounded in confirmation bias.

Anonymous said...

Wrath of khan was pretty good. Just the novelty factor of having kirstie alley and ricardo montalban were enough to warrant paying two bucks at the theatre. The old episodes where Klingons were bad sterotypes of nefarious Chinese were comical but Star Trek TNG was the best of all. I think the downhilled-ness began around Star Trek 4.

Anonymous said...

TNG series finale was better than any of the motion pictures in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

5 billion or 7.5 billion means little when the experiment needs to be run. So much more is at state for all of mankind...Safe Fusion Power. I would put in 50 billion to make this work...if it can work. It is worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

I would put in 50 billion to make this work...if it can work. It is worth the risk.

May 28, 2013 at 8:46 PM

That is the language of gambling, not science. No risk to your money of course. Why not let the people who have to fund it have a say? Make your best argument, understanding that you have to make it comprehensible to your sponsors (the public) and see what happens. My guess? NIF is shut down tomorrow. You dilettantes can find another sandbox. I would not give you another dime of my hard earned money.

Anonymous said...

Confirmation bias is what makes NIF such a foolish gamble, just just any mere gamble.

Anonymous said...

NIF is built and the ship is ready to sail. We must therefore explore the realm. NIF is following the traditions of Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton, Euler, Laplace, Lagrange, Laguerre, Riemann, Einstein, Lanczos, and many others. NIF is built on the shoulder of giants. And hundreds of NIF employees will be trained as the future generation of fusioneers, who will further the science and engineering of what will be deemed the great discovery of this millennium. Who knows what the future holds . We can't know unless we spend the money and find out. No cost is too great for ignition on NIF. It is the only viable technology for fusion. Let the ship sail. It's journey will allow many great discoveries to be made, allowing humanity evolve to a new level of technology and enlightenment. Who knows, NIF may even lead to two or three Nobel prizes.

Anonymous said...

Remarkable. Fantastic.

From an idea, an unclear concept 15 years ago to a 100-square acre, flawlessly operating instrument assimilating amazing new technologies from material, to modelling to controls...

1.8MJ of blue light.. 500TW every 4 hours on a 3 mm target... Wow.

Brilliant.

24 beamlines 192 beams, adaptive optics, 5 MJ of capacitors, amazing 9000 pcs of 40cm x40cm Nd glass, meter-long 9000 flashlamps, literally millions of optics... Cleanest large surfaces ever produced, 1000s of times better than in wafer production.

A reliable 4K target system in a shielded 10m diameter vacuum sphere. DT targets regularly meeting exacting standards. Calibrated diagnostics systems to determine performance. Models to support interpretation.

All to the highest seismic standards, every system with a safety note, checked and rechecked.

Truly a magnificent lifetime achievemnt. Something Haussman dreamed of when he hired Emmett. What Paisner, Simmons, Hurley and Frietag strove for in setting high scientific and engineering standards. What Trenholme's team predicted.

Over 1000 labbies contributed years of their lives and many, many late nights.

Remarkable. Unprecedented. The damn thing works...it regularly meets its design specs.

Thanks for the confirmation Al.

"FIAT LUX" is fulfilled.

Now on to discoveries...



Yes, thanks for the confirmation bias, indeed.

Anonymous said...

Lake Haussman is that nice pond with the Tritiated ducks. Fantastic!

Anonymous said...

NIF following the traditions of Galileo? Seriously? NIF needs to be flushed from the bedpan of bad science.

Anonymous said...

Don't defame the ducks. You cretin

Anonymous said...

Some of the old NIF posts from August are HILARIOUS. The fusion temple idea! Comparisons to zephram cochrane, some very cutting comments.

Anonymous said...

Lanczos? Why not throw the names of thousands of other important scientists and mathematicians into that bucket of metaphors?

Anonymous said...

Go screw yourself you ignorant simpleton. Corny Lanczos is one of the greatest of all time, advancing variational methods in physics.

Anonymous said...

Go screw yourself you ignorant simpleton.

May 30, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Excellent post - reflects the absolute best LLNL has to offer.

Anonymous said...

LANL people have no idea who Lanczos is. They knowledge is limited to the what they learned from "Hemo the Magnificent"

Anonymous said...

Who knows, NIF may even lead to two or three Nobel prizes.

May 29, 2013 at 1:11 AM

Certainly a shoe-in for one or more of this year's Ig Nobel Prizes !

Anonymous said...

Does LANL have any new plans to release more radiation into the environment? It's too bad that LLNL has to pay (more onerous controls and oversight) because LANL screws up ALL THE TIME.

Anonymous said...

NIF isn't built upon the shoulders of giants. NIF is built upon the egos of mental midgets.

Anonymous said...

Does LANL have any new plans to release more radiation into the environment?

June 1, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Yes of course, LANL precisely plans each and every accidental release. There's an office for that - just Google "LANL planned illegal radiation releases to kill everyone."

Anonymous said...

Forget it, June 1, 2013 at 9:10 PM, sarcasm is wasted on these lobotomized buggers --er, bloggers.

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