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One BIG crystal

One BIG crystal

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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