Gigantic Lasers!

Check this out:

High-power flashlamps, like the one in your camera but super-sized, are used to excite the lasers. Each beam starts out about as strong as the one in your laser pointer, but all together they end up pumping out 500 terawatts in two billionths of a second — roughly 500 times the entire peak power output of the United States.

What could possibly go wrong with all that equipment and power in one spot? Fire it up!

From the article:

Throughout the entire NIF facility, emergency shutdown panels listing the status of the laser (using both text and light) provide a level of safety for the hapless scientist or technician, possibly named Gordon, who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time before a firing of the lasers.


Sorry, someone already used that meme.

I dunno, we could send them a giant frickin’ shark?

The article itself even makes the Half Life joke, right at the end.

I’ll have to e-mail the author of the article to inform him, too.

No, I mean the original article, which you clearly didn’t read to the end, not your blog “article”.

I’m sorry, but I still think it’s more apropos given that the article talks about some hapless scientist being caught in the middle of things at NIF, vs. the world just going boom at CERN. Though Jazar is right, the article did reference Half-Life at the end. Alas, I posted midway through the article in an attempt to not forget my fleeting moment of pathetic wittiness.
Had I but known…

I meant the author of the original article. “Didn’t read to the end?” I didn’t even start to read it. Readins hard.

Edit: Wait, how would I have apparently missed that the blog entry I linked to made a Half-Life connection? That was why I linked to it. Jeez, my self esteem just plummeted, thanks.

NIF? I recognize Aperture Laboratories when I see it.

This is the part that made me pause:

Each power amplifier is assembled in a nearby cleanroom and transported into place in the beam line by robot transporters, similar to those Wal-Mart uses to stock their wares.

Wal-Mart employs robots as stockboys? Whoa.