Blast Wave Diagnostic for the Petawatt Laser System

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While many fusion plant designs require large quantities of tritium for startup and operations, a range of design choices made for the LIFE fuel cycle act to reduce the in-process tritium inventory. This paper presents an overview of the delivery plan and the preconceptual design of the LIFE facility with emphasis on the key safety design principles being adopted. In order to illustrate the favorable safety characteristics of the LIFE design, some initial accident analysis results are presented that indicate potential for a more attractive licensing regime than that of current fission reactors.

A LIFE-based fleet of power plants promises clean energy generation with no greenhouse gas emissions and a virtually limitless, widely available thermonuclear fuel source. For the LIFE concept to be viable, target costs must be minimized while the target material efficiency or x-ray albedo is optimized. Current ICF targets on the NIF utilize a gold or depleted uranium cylindrical radiation cavity hohlraum with a plastic capsule at the center that contains the deuterium and tritium fuel.

Here we show a direct comparison of gold and lead hohlraums in efficiently ablating deuterium-filled plastic capsules with soft x rays. We report on lead hohlraum performance that is indistinguishable from gold, yet costing only a small fraction. Experimental investigations into the dynamics of cylindrical, laser-driven, high-Mach-number shocks are used to study the thermal cooling instability predicted to occur in astrophysical radiative blast waves.

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Ebook Blast Wave Diagnostic For The Petawatt Laser System

A streaked Schlieren technique measures the full blast-wave trajectory on a single-shot basis, which is key for observing shock velocity oscillations. Electron density profiles and deceleration parameters associated with radiative blast waves were recorded, enabling the calculation of important blast-wave parameters including the fraction of radiated energy, epsilon, as a function of time for comparison with radiation-hydrodynamics simulations.

We review the potential to develop sources for neutron scattering science and propose that a merger with the rapidly developing field of inertial fusion energy could provide a major step-change in performance. In stark contrast to developments in synchrotron and laser science, the past 40 years have seen only a factor of 10 increase in neutron source brightness.

Laser-produced-high-Field sciences (LF) – Institute of Laser Engineering

With the advent of thermonuclear ignition in the laboratory, coupled to innovative approaches in how this may be achieved, we calculate that a neutron source three orders of magnitude more powerful than any existing facility can be envisaged on a to year time scale. Such a leap in source power would transform neutron scattering science. We present differential x-ray scattering cross sections for a radiatively heated plasma showing overall consistency, in both form and absolute value, with theoretical simulations.

In particular, the evolution of the plasma from a strongly coupled high density phase to a lower density weakly coupled phase is quite clearly shown in both experiment and simulation.

Laser-Plasma Accelerators: Riding the Wave to the Next Generation X-Ray Light Sources

The success of this experiment shows that x-ray scattering has the potential to become an extremely useful diagnostic technique for dense plasma physics. We present a new approach to indirect-drive inertial confinement fusion which makes use of highly supersonic, radiatively cooled, slugs of plasma to energize a hohlraum. Results for the Z facility at Sandia National Laboratory indicate that two synchronous slugs of kJ kinetic energy could be produced, resulting in a capsule surface temperature of approximately eV.

Professor of Photon Science

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Applied Optics

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