It's like Where's Waldo? for the Ivy League set.
So what does all of that stuff do? Well, in 5 millionths of a second, the NIF can charge and deliver 192 beams of laser love capable of generating temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius, and pressures greater than 100 billion times that of the Earth's atmosphere.
What could possibly be the purpose of such a thing, short of carving your name onto the face of the moon? Actually, scientists are trying to create nuclear fusion, the Holy Grail of energy technology. It's literally the energy source that powers the sun, and to make it happen, they're going to unload the full force of laser fury into a packet of hydrogen the size of the full stop at the end of this sentence.
In other words, the NIF is here to bust a nut.
As an added bonus, by recreating the extreme conditions of the core of the sun, the NIF can help us understand what kind of crazy crap happens inside stars and supernovas, which is convenient because we can't really test either of those things in the field.