The world's most powerful laser, created to help keep tabs on the US nuclear weapons stockpile while also studying the heavens, has been unveiled.
The super laser, known officially as the National Ignition Facility, was unveiled Friday at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory about 50 miles (80 kilometers) east of San Francisco.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and US Sen. Dianne Feinstein were among thousands of people in attendance at the ceremony.
The NIF, which is the size of a football field, consists of 192 separate laser beams, each traveling 1,000 feet (304.8 meters) in one-thousandth of a second to converge simultaneously on a target the size of a pencil eraser.