Creating a star on Earth is the goal of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world's largest laser. When completed in 2009, NIF will focus 192 giant laser beams on a BB-sized target filled with hydrogen fuel - fusing, or igniting, the hydrogen atoms' nuclei. This is the same fusion energy process that provides the life-giving energy from the sun. NIF Director, Ed Moses, will describe how NIF works and its potential to provide a limitless supply of clean, safe energy.

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Speaker Bios


Dr.Edward Moses

Project Manager and Principal Deputy Associate Director
National Ignition Facility (NIF)

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Ed Moses grew up working for his dad in construction. He earned his B.S. from Cornell University in 1972 in electrical engineerings and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1977 in laser physics. He began his professional career at Hughes Aircraft Company where he was a scientist and program manager from 1977 to 1980 developing high average power visible light lasers. In 1980, he joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory working on new ways to use lasers to process materials. In 1987, he became the Program Manager for the Isotope Separation and Materials Processing Program while also serving as Deputy Associate Director for Lasers.

In 1990, Dr. Moses left the Laboratory, when he became the Executive Vice President of Advanced Technology Applications, but returned to the Laboratory in 1996 as Deputy Associate Director for Program Development in the Physics and Space Technology Directorate. There he became the Project Manager for PEREGRINE, a program that developed and licensed a new method to treat cancer using radiation therapy.

In 1998, Dr. Moses joined the National Ignition Facility (NIF) Project at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and became the Project Manager for NIF in 1999. The NIF is a $3.5B, project to build and commission the world's largest laser facility for the purpose of studying high energy density physics and attaining thermonuclear burn in the laboratory.

He is currently the Associate Director for the NIF Programs Directorate and the Director of the National Ignition Campaign and plays a key role in the development of the applications for the use of the NIF in pursuit of national strategic security, national energy security and basic science.

Ed holds patents in laser technology and computational physics.

He wants everyone to learn about this exciting and growing field.



Dan Burns

Earth and Space Science and AP Physics Teacher
Los Gatos High School

Dan Burns has been teaching Earth and Space Science and AP Physics at Los Gatos High School since 1992. He is the LGHS science department chair and past president of the Northern California/Nevada American Association of Physics Teachers. He has worked on curriculum development and teacher workshops for the SETI Institute, the USGS, NASA, AAPT, and San Jose State University. He has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois. Prior to becoming a teacher Dan was a senior research specialist for the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. Dan is an avid amateur astronomer and astrophotographer and has had several pictures published in astronomy magazines.

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