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, focused on an aluminum foil, liberated and accelerated protons toward a stationary block of solid boron. The protons collided with energies ranging from 148 keV to 580 keV. Helium nuclei were then detected with energies expected from pB11 fusion.
This work confirms that of a French team from a few years earlier. That work involved a different approach by first creating a boron plasma. Two lasers were used. One focused on the boron target first generated a small region of boron plasma. Protons were then driven by a second laser from aluminum foils into the plasma cloud.
Research into aneutronic fusion systems seems to be gaining momentum. Aneutronic fusion is, at the moment, the only way known to science to get unlimited, ecologically safe, non-bio hazardous, radioactive-waste & spillage-free power that is cheaper than any energy source now available.