Restore funding to the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, a Unique National Resource

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After five decades of exemplary research, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) has been targeted for complete and irreversible shutdown. At this point only the U.S. congress and its leaders can reverse the decision. Why should we sign a petition to restore funding to LLE?

LLE is a major research facility with a unique attribute: a strong and dedicated educational mission. More than 100 graduate students and 40 undergraduate students contribute and rely on the laboratory to continue their research. Besides the University of Rochester, more than 40 universities, including SUNY Geneseo, MIT, Princeton, Rice, University of California, are also involved with the research done at LLE.

LLE's research program develops the physics and critical knowledge base required to demonstrate fusion in the laboratory. Once demonstrated, fusion research will become important in solving one of humankind's greatest challenge: a clean, abundant source of energy. More than 350 scientists, engineers, technicians, and administrators work relentlessly so our  planet can have can have a more secure and hopeful future.

LLE is not only recognized as a resource in the US, but is an internationally recognized center for high power laser and optics research and applications. Scientists from laboratories in France (i.e. CEA, University of Bordeaux), England (AWE, Imperial College, Rutherford, Oxford, University of York) routinely collaborate with LLE scientists and engineers and conduct experiments on the Omega facilities. LLE has invented many of the technologies that have revolutionized high power lasers found in essentially all major facilities worldwide.

What happens if LLE gets shut down? First, 350 scientists, engineers, technicians, and administrators lose their jobs. 100 graduate students have no more support to finish their research. And there is a long term negative impact for fusion research, the National Ignition Facility in California, the Laser MegaJoule in France and the Extreme Light Infrastructure in Europe. Second, there is an impact on the local economy of Upstate New York. Once these jobs are lost people are forced to leave the local economy. This indirect funding is lost to local schools and businesses.

The US leads the world in physical science research, including technology, because the US invested in the hard sciences for decades. That's $80M less for science. It’s the future of America, the future for our children and ultimately the future of our planet.

What can you do about it? Please sign the petition and we will send it to Congress. LLE leaders are working harder than ever to make sure science is supported by the government, but they also need our help to make sure Congress gets it.

For more information about all the LLE achievements you can go to the LLE website.