Liceo Mexicano Japonés
Liceo Mexicano Japonés, A. C. is a Japanese school based in the Pedregal neighborhood of the Álvaro Obregón borough in southern Mexico City, Mexico. It is a school for Japanese Mexicans and the sons of Japanese temporary workers who are brought to Mexico by companies like Nissan. There is a section for Mexicans with no Japanese origin or descent, but Japanese is taught beginning in kindergarten and the system is in both languages until high school. Carlos Kasuga Osaka, who served as the director of Yakult Mexico, founded the school and served as its chair. Within any Nikkei community, it was the first transnational educational institution. María Dolores Mónica Palma Mora, author of De tierras extrañas: un estudio sobre las inmigración en México, 1950-1990, wrote that the school is a "central institution in the life of" the Japanese Mexican group. Chizuko Watanabe Hougen, the author of the master's thesis "The Japanese Immigrant Community in Mexico Its History and Present" at the California State University, Los Angeles, stated that Japanese parents chose the school because they wanted to "maintain their ethnic identity and pride, to implant a spiritual heritage that they claim is the basis for success, to establish close ties with other Nikkei children who live in distant areas."As of 1983 many Nikkei and Japanese persons come to the school to study its management techniques and problems.
Over one decade of organizational activity occurred before the school's opening. The merger process forming the school began in 1974, it was a merger of a preparatory school, three of Mexico City's four part-time Japanese schools. The proposals to build the school were controversial in the Mexico City Nikkei community, Watanabe stated that the school's importance and that of the Asocación Mexicana Japonesa "is indicated by the fact that the establishment and management of them has been the source of much strife among the community members." Because of this, about 12 police officers protected the July 1967 annual general meeting to protect it from rioting, the general meeting had received threats of violence. Watanabe stated that after the Liceo Mexicano Japones was completed, "the antagonism subsided and unity in the community seems to prevail at present."The founding of the school occurred after a visit to Mexico by Prime Minister of Japan Kakuei Tanaka. The Government of Japan donated 300 million yen to finance the school's construction in 1975.
Tanaka placed the school's first stone. The school, inaugurated by President of Mexico Luis Echeverría, by Secretary of Education of Mexico Porfirio Muñoz Ledo, opened in September 1977; the governments of Japan and Mexico accredited the school. The Nisei in Mexico were the primary party who had the school built because they wanted their children to have the Japanese cultural heritage. In 1984 the high school was inaugurated. Takeo Fukuda, the Prime Minister of Japan, visited the school that year; the school, which covered kindergarten through secondary school gained over 1,000 students, including Mexicans, children of Japanese business owners resident in Mexico, children of Japanese diplomats. Daniel M. Masterson, author of The Japanese in Latin America, wrote that it "became one of the most prestigious schools" in Mexico. According to the Mexico Journal, because President of Mexico Carlos Salinas de Gortari sent his children to the school, people within Japan perceived the Liceo Mexicano Japonés as being the best school in Mexico.
Salinas said that he sent the children to the school because the Japanese culture has an emphasis on design and discipline. At the time the Mexican government was expanding trade with Japan, Japanese influence was increasing in Mexico. At the time the Mexican authorities were taking efforts to attract further Japanese economic activity. In 1997, there was an accusation that a preparatory level student sexually assaulted a primary level student; the accused student was expelled due to parental pressure. The Juvenile Board did not find the student guilty; the Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor fined the school for cancelling a trip of that student, giving the school a penalty of 1.870 million pesos. In November there were accusations that government officials with children enrolled in the school pressured the school to expel the accused student. In 1997 the city of Nagoya, celebrating its 20th anniversary of sister city relations with Mexico City, began its exchange with the school. From on, the school on an annual basis sends a cultural exchange group to Nagoya.
The school has two sections: The Mexican section with Spanish-language classes and a curriculum according to the Mexican Secretariat of Public Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the Japanese section with classes in Japanese and a curriculum according to the Japanese Ministry of Education, Sports and Technology. Most classes for Mexicans are in the Spanish language. Mexican students spend ten hours per week on the Japanese language. Classes offered include art, Japanese calligraphy, karate and the tea ceremony. According to the 2012 "Ranking de las Mejores Prepas en la Ciudad de México" of the Diario Reforma, the school had the highest rank; the ranking had over 380 university academics and company directors evaluating 67 private schools in Mexico City. According to the 2014 "Ranking de las Mejores Prepas en la Ciudad de México" of the same newspaper, the school received a score of 8.80, the highest score out of the 80 private schools surveyed. 558 academics from various universities and managers ranked each pri
National Ignition Facility
The National Ignition Facility, is a large laser-based inertial confinement fusion research device, located at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. NIF uses lasers to heat and compress a small amount of hydrogen fuel with the goal of inducing nuclear fusion reactions. NIF's mission is to achieve fusion ignition with high energy gain, to support nuclear weapon maintenance and design by studying the behavior of matter under the conditions found within nuclear weapons. NIF is the largest and most energetic ICF device built to date, the largest laser in the world. Construction on the NIF began in 1997 but management problems and technical delays slowed progress into the early 2000s. Progress after 2000 was smoother, but compared to initial estimates, NIF was completed five years behind schedule and was four times more expensive than budgeted. Construction was certified complete on 31 March 2009 by the U. S. Department of Energy, a dedication ceremony took place on 29 May 2009.
The first large-scale laser target experiments were performed in June 2009 and the first "integrated ignition experiments" were declared completed in October 2010. Bringing the system to its full potential was a lengthy process, carried out from 2009 to 2012. During this period a number of experiments were worked into the process under the National Ignition Campaign, with the goal of reaching ignition just after the laser reached full power, some time in the second half of 2012; the Campaign ended in September 2012, at about 1⁄10 the conditions needed for ignition. Experiments since have pushed this closer to 1⁄3, but considerable theoretical and practical work is required if the system is to reach ignition. Since 2012, NIF has been used for materials science and weapons research. Inertial confinement fusion devices use drivers to heat the outer layers of a target in order to compress it; the target is a small spherical pellet containing a few milligrams of fusion fuel a mix of deuterium and tritium.
The energy of the laser heats the surface of the pellet into a plasma, which explodes off the surface. The remaining portion of the target is driven inward compressing it into a small point of high density; the rapid blowoff creates a shock wave that travels toward the center of the compressed fuel from all sides. When it reaches the center of the fuel, a small volume is further heated and compressed to a greater degree; when the temperature and density of that small spot are raised high enough, fusion reactions occur and release energy. The fusion reactions release high-energy particles, some of which alpha particles, collide with the surrounding high density fuel and heat it further. If this process deposits enough energy in a given area it can cause that fuel to undergo fusion as well. However, the fuel is losing heat through x-ray losses and hot electrons leaving the fuel area, so the rate of alpha heating must be greater than these losses, a condition known as bootstrapping. Given the right overall conditions of the compressed fuel—high enough density and temperature—this bootstrapping process will result in a chain reaction, burning outward from the center where the shock wave started the reaction.
This is a condition known as ignition, which will lead to a significant portion of the fuel in the target undergoing fusion and releasing large amounts of energy. To date most ICF experiments have used lasers to heat the target. Calculations show that the energy must be delivered in order to compress the core before it disassembles; the laser energy must be focused evenly across the target's outer surface in order to collapse the fuel into a symmetric core. Although other drivers have been suggested, notably heavy ions driven in particle accelerators, lasers are the only devices with the right combination of features. NIF aims to create a single 500 terawatt peak flash of light that reaches the target from numerous directions at the same time, within a few picoseconds; the design uses 192 beamlines in a parallel system of flashlamp-pumped, neodymium-doped phosphate glass lasers. To ensure that the output of the beamlines is uniform, the initial laser light is amplified from a single source in the Injection Laser System.
This starts with a low-power flash of 1053-nanometer infra-red light generated in an ytterbium-doped optical fiber laser known as the Master Oscillator. The light from the Master Oscillator is directed into 48 Preamplifier Modules; each PAM contains a two-stage amplification process. The first stage is a regenerative amplifier in which the pulse circulates 30 to 60 times, increasing in energy from nanojoules to tens of millijoules; the light passes four times through a circuit containing a neodymium glass amplifier similar to the ones used in the main beamlines, boosting the nanojoules of light created in the Master Oscillator to about 6 joules. According to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the design of the PAMs was one of the major challenges during construction. Improvements to the design since have allowed them to surpass their initial design goals; the main amplification takes place in a series of glass amplifiers located at one end of the beamlines. Before firing, the amplifiers are first optically pumped by a total of 7,680 xenon flash lamps.
The lamps are powered by a capacitor bank. When the wavefront passes through them, the amplifiers release some of the light energy stored in them into the beam. To improve the energy transfer the beams are sent though th
A levitated dipole is a type of nuclear fusion reactor design using a superconducting torus, magnetically levitated inside the reactor chamber. The name refers to the magnetic dipole that forms within the reaction chamber, similar to Earth's or Jupiter's magnetospheres, it is believed that such an apparatus could contain plasma more efficiently than other fusion reactor designs. The Levitated Dipole Experiment was funded by the US Department of Energy's Office of Fusion Energy; the machine was run in a collaboration between Columbia University. Funding for the LDX was ended in November 2011 to concentrate resources on tokamak designs; the Earth's magnetic field is generated by the circulation of charges in the Earth's molten core. The resulting magnetic dipole field forms a shape with magnetic field lines passing through the Earth's center, reaching the surface near the poles and extending far into space above the equator. Charged particles entering the field will tend to follow the lines of force, moving south.
As they reach the polar regions, the magnetic lines begin to cluster together, this increasing field can cause particles below a certain energy threshold to reflect, begin travelling in the opposite direction. Such particles bounce forth between the poles until the collide with other particles. Particles with greater energy continue towards the Earth, impacting the atmosphere and causing the aurora; this basic concept is used in the magnetic mirror approach to fusion energy. The mirror uses a solenoid to confine the plasma in the center of a cylinder, two magnets at either end to force the magnetic lines closer together to create reflecting areas. One of the most promising of the early approaches to fusion, the mirror proved to be "leaky", with the fuel refusing to properly reflect from the ends as the density and energy were increased. Annoyingly, it was the particles with the most energy, those most to undergo fusion, that preferentially escaped. Research into large mirror machines ended in the 1980s as it became clear they would not reach fusion breakeven in a sized device.
The levitated dipole can be thought of, in some ways, as a toroidal mirror, much more similar to the Earth's field than the linear system in a traditional mirror. In this case, the confinement area is not the linear area between the mirrors, but the toroidal area around the outside of the central magnet, similar to the area around the Earth's equator. Particles in this area that move up or down see increasing magnetic density and tend to move back towards the equator area again; this gives the system some level of natural stability. Particles with higher energy, the ones that would escape a traditional mirror, instead follow the field lines through the hollow center of the magnet, recirculating back into the equatorial area again; this makes the Levitated Dipole unique. In those experiments, small fluctuations can cause significant energy loss. By contrast, in a dipolar magnetic field, fluctuations tend to compress the plasma, without energy loss; this compression effect was first noticed by Akira Hasegawa after participating in the Voyager 2 encounter with Uranus.
Adapting this concept to a fusion experiment was first proposed by Dr. Jay Kesner and Dr. Michael Mauel in the mid to late nineties; the pair raised money to build the machine. They achieved first plasma on Friday, August 13, 2004 at 12:53 PM. First plasma was done by levitating the dipole magnet and RF heating the plasma; the LDX team has since conducted several levitation tests, including a 40-minute suspension of the superconducting coil on February 9, 2007. Shortly after, the coil was damaged in a control test in February 2007 and replaced in May 2007; the replacement coil was inferior, a copper wound electromagnet, water cooled. Scientific results, including the observation of an inward turbulent pinch, were reported in Nature Physics; this experiment needed a special free-floating electromagnet, which created the unique "toilet-bowl" magnetic field. The magnetic field was made of two counter-wound rings of currents; each ring contained a 19-strand niobium-tin Rutherford cable. These looped around inside a Inconel magnet.
The donut was charged using induction. Once charged, it generated a magnetic field for an 8-hour period. Overall, the ring levitated 1.6 meters above a superconducting ring. The ring produced a 5-tesla field; this superconductor was encased inside a liquid helium, which kept the electromagnet below 10 kelvins. This design is similar to the D20 dipole experiment at Berkeley and the RT-1 experiment at the University of Tokyo; the dipole was suspended inside a mushroom-shaped vacuum chamber, about 5 meters in diameter and ~3 meters high. At the base of the chamber was a charging coil; this coil is used using induction. The coil exposing the dipole to a varying magnetic field. Next, the dipole is raised into the center of the chamber; this could be using the field itself. Around the outside of this chamber were Helmholtz coils, which were used to produce a uniform surrounding magnetic field; this external field would interact with the dipole field. It was in this surrounding field; the plasma forms inside the chamber.
The plasma is formed by heating a low pressure gas. The gas is heated using a radio frequency microwaving the plasma in a 17-kilowatt field; the machine was monitored
A nuclear reactor known as an atomic pile, is a device used to initiate and control a self-sustained nuclear chain reaction. Nuclear reactors are used at nuclear power plants for electricity generation and in propulsion of ships. Heat from nuclear fission is passed to a working fluid; these either turn electrical generators' shafts. Nuclear generated steam in principle can be used for industrial process heat or for district heating; some reactors are used to produce isotopes for medical and industrial use, or for production of weapons-grade plutonium. Some are run only for research; as of early 2019, the IAEA reports there are 454 nuclear power reactors and 226 nuclear research reactors in operation around the world. Just as conventional power-stations generate electricity by harnessing the thermal energy released from burning fossil fuels, nuclear reactors convert the energy released by controlled nuclear fission into thermal energy for further conversion to mechanical or electrical forms; when a large fissile atomic nucleus such as uranium-235 or plutonium-239 absorbs a neutron, it may undergo nuclear fission.
The heavy nucleus splits into two or more lighter nuclei, releasing kinetic energy, gamma radiation, free neutrons. A portion of these neutrons may be absorbed by other fissile atoms and trigger further fission events, which release more neutrons, so on; this is known as a nuclear chain reaction. To control such a nuclear chain reaction, neutron poisons and neutron moderators can change the portion of neutrons that will go on to cause more fission. Nuclear reactors have automatic and manual systems to shut the fission reaction down if monitoring detects unsafe conditions. Used moderators include regular water, solid graphite and heavy water; some experimental types of reactor have used beryllium, hydrocarbons have been suggested as another possibility. The reactor core generates heat in a number of ways: The kinetic energy of fission products is converted to thermal energy when these nuclei collide with nearby atoms; the reactor absorbs some of the gamma rays produced during fission and converts their energy into heat.
Heat is produced by the radioactive decay of fission products and materials that have been activated by neutron absorption. This decay heat-source will remain for some time after the reactor is shut down. A kilogram of uranium-235 converted via nuclear processes releases three million times more energy than a kilogram of coal burned conventionally. A nuclear reactor coolant — water but sometimes a gas or a liquid metal or molten salt — is circulated past the reactor core to absorb the heat that it generates; the heat is carried away from the reactor and is used to generate steam. Most reactor systems employ a cooling system, physically separated from the water that will be boiled to produce pressurized steam for the turbines, like the pressurized water reactor. However, in some reactors the water for the steam turbines is boiled directly by the reactor core; the rate of fission reactions within a reactor core can be adjusted by controlling the quantity of neutrons that are able to induce further fission events.
Nuclear reactors employ several methods of neutron control to adjust the reactor's power output. Some of these methods arising from the physics of radioactive decay and are accounted for during the reactor's operation, while others are mechanisms engineered into the reactor design for a distinct purpose; the fastest method for adjusting levels of fission-inducing neutrons in a reactor is via movement of the control rods. Control rods therefore tend to absorb neutrons; when a control rod is inserted deeper into the reactor, it absorbs more neutrons than the material it displaces—often the moderator. This action results in fewer neutrons available to cause fission and reduces the reactor's power output. Conversely, extracting the control rod will result in an increase in the rate of fission events and an increase in power; the physics of radioactive decay affects neutron populations in a reactor. One such process is delayed neutron emission by a number of neutron-rich fission isotopes; these delayed neutrons account for about 0.65% of the total neutrons produced in fission, with the remainder released upon fission.
The fission products which produce delayed neutrons have half lives for their decay by neutron emission that range from milliseconds to as long as several minutes, so considerable time is required to determine when a reactor reaches the critical point. Keeping the reactor in the zone of chain-reactivity where delayed neutrons are necessary to achieve a critical mass state allows mechanical devices or human operators to control a chain reaction in "real time"; this last stage, where delayed neutrons are no longer required to maintain criticality, is known as the prompt critical point. There is a scale for describing criticality in numerical form, in which bare criticality is known as zero dollars and the prompt critical point is one dollar, other points in the process interpolated in cents. In some reactors, the coolant acts as a neutron moderator. A moderator increases the power of the reactor by causin
Nonlinear optics is the branch of optics that describes the behaviour of light in nonlinear media, that is, media in which the polarization density P responds non-linearly to the electric field E of the light. The non-linearity is observed only at high light intensities such as those provided by lasers. Above the Schwinger limit, the vacuum itself is expected to become nonlinear. In nonlinear optics, the superposition principle no longer holds. Nonlinear optics remained unexplored until the discovery in 1961 of second-harmonic generation by Peter Franken et al. at University of Michigan, shortly after the construction of the first laser by Theodore Harold Maiman. However, some nonlinear effects were discovered before the development of the laser; the theoretical basis for many nonlinear processes were first described in Bloembergen's monograph "Nonlinear Optics". Nonlinear optics explains nonlinear response of properties such as frequency, phase or path of incident light; these nonlinear interactions give rise to a host of optical phenomena: Second-harmonic generation, or frequency doubling, generation of light with a doubled frequency, two photons are destroyed, creating a single photon at two times the frequency.
Third-harmonic generation, generation of light with a tripled frequency, three photons are destroyed, creating a single photon at three times the frequency. High-harmonic generation, generation of light with frequencies much greater than the original. Sum-frequency generation, generation of light with a frequency, the sum of two other frequencies. Difference-frequency generation, generation of light with a frequency, the difference between two other frequencies. Optical parametric amplification, amplification of a signal input in the presence of a higher-frequency pump wave, at the same time generating an idler wave. Optical parametric oscillation, generation of a signal and idler wave using a parametric amplifier in a resonator. Optical parametric generation, like parametric oscillation but without a resonator, using a high gain instead. Half-harmonic generation, the special case of OPO or OPG when the signal and idler degenerate in one single frequency, Spontaneous parametric down-conversion, the amplification of the vacuum fluctuations in the low-gain regime.
Optical rectification, generation of quasi-static electric fields. Nonlinear light-matter interaction with free electrons and plasmas. Optical Kerr effect, intensity-dependent refractive index. Self-focusing, an effect due to the optical Kerr effect caused by the spatial variation in the intensity creating a spatial variation in the refractive index. Kerr-lens modelocking, the use of self-focusing as a mechanism to mode-lock laser. Self-phase modulation, an effect due to the optical Kerr effect caused by the temporal variation in the intensity creating a temporal variation in the refractive index. Optical solitons, an equilibrium solution for either an optical pulse or spatial mode that does not change during propagation due to a balance between dispersion and the Kerr effect. Cross-phase modulation, where one wavelength of light can affect the phase of another wavelength of light through the optical Kerr effect. Four-wave mixing, can arise from other nonlinearities. Cross-polarized wave generation, a χ effect in which a wave with polarization vector perpendicular to the input one is generated.
Modulational instability. Raman amplification Optical phase conjugation. Stimulated Brillouin scattering, interaction of photons with acoustic phonons Multi-photon absorption, simultaneous absorption of two or more photons, transferring the energy to a single electron. Multiple photoionisation, near-simultaneous removal of many bound electrons by one photon. Chaos in optical systems. In these processes, the medium has a linear response to the light, but the properties of the medium are affected by other causes: Pockels effect, the refractive index is affected by a static electric field. Acousto-optics, the refractive index is affected by acoustic waves. Raman scattering, interaction of photons with optical phonons. Nonlinear effects fall into two qualitatively different categories and non-parametric effects. A parametric non-linearity is an interaction in which the quantum state of the nonlinear material is not changed by the interaction with the optical field; as a consequence of this, the process is "instantaneous".
Energy and momentum are conserved in the optical field, making phase matching important and polarization-dependent. Parametric and "instantaneous" nonlinear optical phenomena, in which the optical fields are not too large, can be described by a Taylor series expansion of the dielectric polarization density P at time t in terms of the electrical field E: P = ε 0 ( χ E +
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or from a combination of fission and fusion reactions. Both bomb types release large quantities of energy from small amounts of matter; the first test of a fission bomb released an amount of energy equal to 20,000 tons of TNT. The first thermonuclear bomb test released energy equal to 10 million tons of TNT. A thermonuclear weapon weighing little more than 2,400 pounds can release energy equal to more than 1.2 million tons of TNT. A nuclear device no larger than traditional bombs can devastate an entire city by blast and radiation. Since they are weapons of mass destruction, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is a focus of international relations policy. Nuclear weapons have been used twice in war, both times by the United States against Japan near the end of World War II. On August 6, 1945, the U. S. Army Air Forces detonated a uranium gun-type fission bomb nicknamed "Little Boy" over the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
S. Army Air Forces detonated a plutonium implosion-type fission bomb nicknamed "Fat Man" over the Japanese city of Nagasaki; these bombings caused injuries that resulted in the deaths of 200,000 civilians and military personnel. The ethics of these bombings and their role in Japan's surrender are subjects of debate. Since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nuclear weapons have been detonated over two thousand times for testing and demonstration. Only a few nations are suspected of seeking them; the only countries known to have detonated nuclear weapons—and acknowledge possessing them—are the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, China, India and North Korea. Israel is believed to possess nuclear weapons, though, in a policy of deliberate ambiguity, it does not acknowledge having them. Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands are nuclear weapons sharing states. South Africa is the only country to have independently developed and renounced and dismantled its nuclear weapons.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons aims to reduce the spread of nuclear weapons, but its effectiveness has been questioned, political tensions remained high in the 1970s and 1980s. Modernisation of weapons continues to this day. There are two basic types of nuclear weapons: those that derive the majority of their energy from nuclear fission reactions alone, those that use fission reactions to begin nuclear fusion reactions that produce a large amount of the total energy output. All existing nuclear weapons derive some of their explosive energy from nuclear fission reactions. Weapons whose explosive output is from fission reactions are referred to as atomic bombs or atom bombs; this has long been noted as something of a misnomer, as their energy comes from the nucleus of the atom, just as it does with fusion weapons. In fission weapons, a mass of fissile material is forced into supercriticality—allowing an exponential growth of nuclear chain reactions—either by shooting one piece of sub-critical material into another or by compression of a sub-critical sphere or cylinder of fissile material using chemically-fueled explosive lenses.
The latter approach, the "implosion" method, is more sophisticated than the former. A major challenge in all nuclear weapon designs is to ensure that a significant fraction of the fuel is consumed before the weapon destroys itself; the amount of energy released by fission bombs can range from the equivalent of just under a ton to upwards of 500,000 tons of TNT. All fission reactions generate the remains of the split atomic nuclei. Many fission products are either radioactive or moderately radioactive, as such, they are a serious form of radioactive contamination. Fission products are the principal radioactive component of nuclear fallout. Another source of radioactivity is the burst of free neutrons produced by the weapon; when they collide with other nuclei in surrounding material, the neutrons transmute those nuclei into other isotopes, altering their stability and making them radioactive. The most used fissile materials for nuclear weapons applications have been uranium-235 and plutonium-239.
Less used has been uranium-233. Neptunium-237 and some isotopes of americium may be usable for nuclear explosives as well, but it is not clear that this has been implemented, their plausible use in nuclear weapons is a matter of dispute; the other basic type of nuclear weapon produces a large proportion of its energy in nuclear fusion reactions. Such fusion weapons are referred to as thermonuclear weapons or more colloquially as hydrogen bombs, as they rely on fusion reactions between isotopes of hydrogen. All such weapons derive a significant portion of their energy from fission reactions used to "trigger" fusion reactions, fusion reactions can themselves trigger additional fission reactions. Only six countries—United States, United Kingdom, China and India—have conducted thermonuclear weapon tests. North Korea claims to have tested a fusion weapon as of January 2016. Thermonuclear weapons a
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain S. A. is a French multinational corporation, founded in 1665 in Paris and headquartered on the outskirts of Paris, at La Défense and in Courbevoie. A mirror manufacturer, it now produces a variety of construction and high-performance materials; the company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index. Since the middle of the 17th century, luxury products such as silk textiles and mirrors were in high demand. In the 1660s, mirrors had become popular among the upper classes of society: Italian cabinets, châteaux and ornate side tables and pier-tables were decorated with this expensive and luxurious product. At the time, the French were not known for mirror technology. French minister of finance Olivier Bluche wanted France to become self-sufficient in meeting domestic demand for luxury products, thereby strengthening the national economy. Colbert established by letters patent the public enterprise Manufacture royale de glaces de miroirs in October 1665; the company would be financed in part by the State.
The beneficiary and first director was the French financier Nicolas du Noyer, receiver of taxes of Orléans, granted a monopoly of making glass and mirror-glass for a period of twenty years. The company had the informal name Compagnie du Noyer. To compete with the Italian mirror industry, Colbert commissioned several Venetian glassworkers he had enticed to Paris to work for the company; the first unblemished mirrors were produced in 1666. Soon the mirrors created in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, under the French company, began to rival those of Venice; the French company was capable of producing mirrors that were 40 to 45 inches long, which at the time was considered impressive. Competition between France and the Venetians became so fierce that Venice considered it a crime for any glass artisan to leave and practice their trade elsewhere in foreign territory. Nicolas du Noyer complained in writing that the jealous Venetians were unwilling to impart the secrets of glassmaking to the French workers, that the company was hard-pressed to pay its expenses.
Life in Paris proved distracting to the workers, supplies of firewood to stoke the furnaces were dearer in the capital than elsewhere. In 1667 the glass-making was transferred to a small glass furnace working at Tourlaville, near Cherbourg in Normandy, the premises in Faubourg Saint-Antoine were devoted to glass-grinding and polishing the crude product. Though the Compagnie du Noyer was reduced at times to importing Venetian glass and finishing it in France, by September 1672 the royal French manufacturer was on a sufficiently sound footing for the importation of glass to be forbidden to any of Louis' subjects, under any conditions. In 1678, the company produced the glass for the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. In 1683 the company's financial arrangement with the State was renewed for another two decades. However, in 1688 the rival Compagnie Thévart was created financed in part by the state. Compagnie Thévart used a new pouring process that allowed it to make plate glass mirrors measuring at least 60 by 40 inches wide, much bigger than the 40 inches which the Compagnie du Noyer could create.
The two companies were in competition for seven years, until 1695, when the economy slowed down and their technical and commercial rivalry became counterproductive. Under an order from the French government, the two companies were forced to merge, creating the Compagnie Plastier. In 1702 Compagnie Plastier declared bankruptcy. A group of Franco-Swiss Protestant bankers rescued the collapsing company, changing the name to Compagnie Dagincourt. At the same time, the company was provided royal patents which allowed it to maintain a legal monopoly in the glass-manufacturing industry up until the French Revolution, despite fierce, sometimes violent, protests from free enterprise partisans. In 1789, as a consequence of the French Revolution, the state financial and competitive privileges accorded to Compagnie Dagincourt were abolished; the company now had to depend on the participation and capital of private investors, although it continued to remain under the control of the French state. In the 1820s, Saint-Gobain continued to function as it had under the Ancien Régime, manufacturing high-quality mirrors and glass for the luxury market.
However, in 1824, a new glass manufacturer was established in Commentry, in 1837 several Belgian glass manufacturers were founded. While Saint-Gobain continued to dominate the luxury high-quality mirror and glass markets, its newly created competitors focused their attention on making medium and low-quality products; the manufacture of products of such quality made mirrors and glass affordable for the masses. In response, the company mirrors. In 1830, just as Louis-Philippe became King of the newly restored French Monarchy, Saint-Gobain was transformed into a Public Limited Company and became independent from the state for the first time. While mirrors remained their primary business, Saint-Gobain began to diversify their product line to include glass panes for skylights and room dividers, thick mirrors, semi-thick glass for windows, laminated mirrors and glass and embossed mirrors and window panes; some of the more famous buildings that Saint-Gobain contributed to during that period were the Crystal Palace in London, le Jardin des Plantes, les Grand et