The world's largest laser has opened and is now running in Livermore California. Housed in the US National Ignition Facility, the all-powerful beam will create nuclear fusion.
Temperatures of over 100 million degrees and pressures of more than 100 billion times the earth's atmosphere will be generated by aiming 192 individual beams at a pea-sized target full of hydrogen fuel.
That target will then release 10 to 100 times the power originally injected by the lasers, in the same reaction that takes place within the sun. Controlling that reaction will be key to understanding more about stars and large planets.
This research, as anyone who played Sim City 2000 will know, is expensive but could provide plentiful clean and safe energy in the future. Unlike Sim City 2000's fusion plants, we hope that it won't explode after 40 years.