Step right up and see the world's largest crystal! It measures 52 cm (over 20 inches) across at the base and weighs nearly 500 lbs. With a lot of loving care, scientists at Livermore National Laboratory grew this single crystal optical element using a rapid- growth method. The fast growth method was pioneered in Russia and perfected at Livermore over the past few years. The pyramid-shaped KDP (potassium dihydrogen phosphate) was grown in six weeks. Previous methods would have required a growing period of 12-24 months. Slices of the KDP crystals will be critical components of the world's largest laser, the National Ignition Facility (NIF), currently under construction at Livermore. Visit: http://www.llnl.gov.
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