A laser weapon system on the USS Ponce, which has been deployed to the Persian Gulf. The Navy released a video showing the system taking target practice. John F. Williams/U.S. Navy hide caption

toggle caption John F. Williams/U.S. Navy

Physicists put diamonds at the center of this massive laser, to see what would happen. Matt Swisher/Matt Swisher/LLNL hide caption

toggle caption Matt Swisher/Matt Swisher/LLNL

Physicists Crush Diamonds With Giant Laser

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/332071615/332205210" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The National Ignition Facility's 192 laser beams focus onto a tiny target. LLNL hide caption

toggle caption LLNL

Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/275896094/275989906" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

This laser's just pretty, not powerful: Artist Yvette Mattern's laser rainbow in Whitley Bay, England, earlier this year. Bethany Clarke/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Bethany Clarke/Getty Images