- Conference date: 22–26 March 2009
- Location: Monterey (California)
Isochoric heating of inertially confined fusion plasmas by laser driven MeV electrons or protons is an area of great topical interest in the inertial confinement fusion community, particularly with respect to the fast ignition (FI) concept for initiating burn in a fusion capsule. In order to investigate critical aspects needed for a FI point design, experiments were performed to study 1) laser‐to‐electrons or protons conversion issues and 2) laser‐cone interactions including prepulse effects. A large suite of diagnostics was utilized to study these important parameters. Using cone—wire surrogate targets it is found that pre‐pulse levels on medium scale lasers such as Titan at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory produce long scale length plasmas that strongly effect coupling of the laser to FI relevant electrons inside cones. The cone wall thickness also affects coupling to the wire. Conversion efficiency to protons has also been measured and modeled as a function of target thickness, material. Conclusions from the proton and electron source experiments will be presented. Recent advances in modeling electron transport and innovative target designs for reducing igniter energy and increasing gain curves will also be discussed. In conclusion, a program of study will be presented based on understanding the fundamental physics of the electron or proton source relevant to FI.
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