The National Ignition Facility, the world's largest laser, is scheduled for completion in 2009, and will beginning performing experiments in basic science about the same time. NIF is expected to produce temperatures and densities well above those at the core of the Sun, so it appears to have the capability to study thermally averaged cross sections involving a variety of light nuclei, many of which are of interest to nuclear astrophysics. Most of these reactions are affected, in some instances dominated, by compound nuclear states. This paper first describes some of the basic parameters of NIF, then discusses several experiments in nuclear astrophysics, some of which might be performed at NIF, and some of which could not be performed at any other facility in existence.

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