I’m Famous!by Jim

19 Apr 2008
5:04 pm

Well, maybe not famous, but the laser I’m working on is.  KQED did a little blurb on NIF recently, so I’ve posted it here.  It gives a good summary of what we’re working on out here in Livermore, and it is worth watching.  I think it is cool, but then I’m partial to videos about giant lasers.  (The segment is about 11 minutes long.)

If you’d like to watch a bigger version of it, pop on over to http://www.kqed.org and have a look-see.  Man, I love my job.

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Job Satisfactionby Jim

6 Feb 2008
12:02 pm

In the building next to the one I work in is a room called the “high bay”. In this room there is lots of equipment–the same kind of equipment I write software for everyday. This is a “clean” room meaning you must put on a “bunny suit”, gloves, hairnet, etc. before you are allowed inside. There was a problem in the high bay yesterday and Gordon, my group leader, took me over to fix things. We walked over there, put on our special lab coats, gloves, and hairnets before we went inside. We also picked up our protective goggles before we entered.

The problem was on the computer and was trivial. Once it was fixed, we brought up “the system”. After we got things up and running, we put on our laser goggles and I pushed some buttons that actually moved hardware in the room. It doesn’t sound very exciting, but it was for me. I felt like I was in the movie Tron at the beginning when they digitize that orange. (Ironically, it was at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that they filmed that scene in Tron. They shot that part in the Shiva laser bay. Shiva was the predecessor to the predecessor of NIF and is pictured below.)

Shiva (small)

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