Laser Amplifier Section

This is one section of a laser amplifier tube from the Shiva experimental fusion apparatus, operated at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 1978 through 1981. Scientists used the Shiva device to test theories about how lasers might be used to trigger a nuclear fusion reaction. The research program was part of the continuing quest to harness nuclear fusion as a source of energy.
Lasers are useful in this type of research since they emit a narrow beam of intense radiation. Shiva focused the energy of twenty laser beams on a tiny target of nuclear fuel to determine how the fuel would react. This amplifier tube is a short section of one of the twenty beam paths and contains panels made of neodymium glass that focus the light beam.
Currently not on view
date made
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Physical Description
metal (part material)
neodymium glass (part material)
overall: 60 in x 23 in; x 152.4 cm x 58.42 cm
overall: 47 in x 71 in x 49 in; 119.38 cm x 180.34 cm x 124.46 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Nuclear power
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Science & Mathematics
Energy & Power
Data Source
National Museum of American History