Gregory H. Canavan is a nuclear physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Mr. Canavan has participated in the Defense Science Board Study of "Transnational Terrorism" and has served on various committees, including the Army Science Board, the Air Force Space Command Independent Strategic Assessment Group, the NASA Earth Systems Science and Applications Advisory Committee, and the White House Science Council Military Committee. He is also a former Director of the Office of Inertial Fusion at the U.S. Department Of Energy and a former Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force.
What is Inertial Fusion?
Temperatures of more than 100 million kelvins (180 million degrees Fahrenheit); densities of about 1,000 grams per cubic centimeter; pressures more than 100 billion times greater than the Earth's atmosphere; neutron densities as high as 1033 per cubic centimeter per second. Only three places in the space and time of our universe have ever produced anything close to these conditions: the Big Bang, when the universe was born in a primordial fireball; the interiors of stars and planets; and thermonuclear weapons. Nothing within orders of magnitude of these extraordinary conditions has been available for laboratory experiments until now (see How to Make a Star). Because these conditions are so extreme, the connection between NIF and astrophysics is certain to excite scientists interested in using NIF to try to understand the objects in the cosmos, even to the beginning of the universe.
More than you want to know about inertial fusion energy