PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Laser fusion research. Technician positioning the target in the irradiation chamber, the heart of the Phebus laser system at Limeil-Valenton, France. Phebus is used to study the initiation of thermonuclear fusion reactions by laser implosion. The power of the laser beams that converge on and confine the small target (centre) is such that the conditions of pressure, temperature and speed necessary to initiate thermonuclear fusion are achieved. The first observations of the release of thermonuclear neutrons produced by laser implosion were made at Limeil-Valenton in 1969. Construction of Phebus was completed in December 1985.
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