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Return To: Session OV/3 - Inertial Fusion Overview
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(OV/3-5) Fast Ignition: Physics Progress in the US Fusion Energy Program and Prospects for Achieving Ignition

M.H. Key1), C. Andersen2), T. Cowan2), N. Fisch4), R. Freeman2), S. Hatchett1), J. Hill2), J. King2), J. Koch1), B. Lasinski1), B. Langdon1), A. Mackinnon1), P. Patel1), P. Parks3), M. Rosenbluth3), H. Ruhl3), R. Snavely2), R. Stephens3), M. Tabak1), R. Town1)
1) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, USA
2) Department of Applied Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA USA
3) General Atomics, San Diego, CA, USA
4) Princeton University, Princeton NJ, USA

Abstract.  The efficient of coupling of laser energy to an ignition hotspot is a key requirement for the success of fast ignition. The collimation of relativistic electrons and their rate of energy deposition are important factors. Experiments carried out at the Vulcan (UK) and LULI (France) lasers using imaging of x-ray emission from K-alpha fluor layers and of XUV continuum emission from the heated rear surface of thin foil targets, have provided measurements of the patterns of relativistic electron flux and of heating at fast ignition relevant intensities. Comparison of these data with modeling has given improved understanding of the transport physics. Hydrodynamic design work and radiography experiments at the US Omega laser are being used to develop a promising fast ignition target concept. It is based on implosion around a cone to provide a path for the ignitor laser beam to reach the dense imploded material. This target together with a new US program to develop the enabling technology for order of magnitude high energy in petawatt laser beam, could eventually lead to full scale fast ignition in hte USA for example at the National Ignition Facility.

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IAEA 2003