Laser Driven Fusion

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. LPPFusion has been working toward net energy gain from a hydrogen-boron fusion reactor. LPPFusion’s approach uses natural plasma instabilities to generate the high temperatures and densities necessary for fusion. They have already demonstrated world record ion temperatures in their device. New beryllium electrodes will allow them to tackle the needed densities. However, an Australian lead international team is approaching hydrogen-boron reactions driven by a completely different mechanism. Physicist Heinrich Hora plans to use picosecond laser pulses to initiate aneutronic fusion. Two prior Focus Fusion Society posts have discussed laser driven fusion. This Australian team seems to be inspired by the promising outlook from this earlier research. In fact, the Australian team has […]

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Fusion Using Lasers

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. LPPFusion has been pursuing aneutronic fusion from pB11 fuel for some time. Their fuel components of hydrogen (one proton) and boron-11 fuel fuse at high temperatures to produce an excited state of carbon-12 which immediately decays to three helium nuclei. This same fuel is behind a fusion experiment using lasers. Lasers accelerate protons to fuse with stationary boron-11. A team of international researchers conducted tests to prove the viability of this approach. The July 2017 edition of Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B described these results. The research was performed using the ECLIPSE saphire laser at Centre Lasers Intenses et Applications (CELIA) hosted at the University of Bordeaux. The laser, […]

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Laser Assisted Fusion Without Confinement?

Written by Tim Lash, Focus Fusion Society Contributor. Edited by Ignas Galvelis, Supervising Director. In March an international team of physicists reported on a novel approach to nuclear fusion. Foregoing the standard containment approaches, they propose using ultra-short bursts of lasers to nudge nuclei together. These photonic nudges could be used to provide the conditions for nuclei to overcome their electrostatic repulsion until the strong force could take over. Once nuclei are in close enough proximity the chance of fusion reaction becomes much more likely. Scientists from Rice University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chile collaborated on a two dimensional simulation between deuterium and tritium. Authors Peter Wolynes of Rice, Martin Gruebele of Illinois and […]

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