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Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Apr 13;98(15):155001. Epub 2007 Apr 12.

Shock ignition of thermonuclear fuel with high areal density.

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1
Fusion Science Center and Laboratory for Laser Energetics, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14623, USA.

Abstract

A novel method by C. Zhou and R. Betti [Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 50, 140 (2005)] to assemble and ignite thermonuclear fuel is presented. Massive cryogenic shells are first imploded by direct laser light with a low implosion velocity and on a low adiabat leading to fuel assemblies with large areal densities. The assembled fuel is ignited from a central hot spot heated by the collision of a spherically convergent ignitor shock and the return shock. The resulting fuel assembly features a hot-spot pressure greater than the surrounding dense fuel pressure. Such a nonisobaric assembly requires a lower energy threshold for ignition than the conventional isobaric one. The ignitor shock can be launched by a spike in the laser power or by particle beams. The thermonuclear gain can be significantly larger than in conventional isobaric ignition for equal driver energy.

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