Outlook for Laser Fusion

  • John H. Nuckolls
Part of the Studies in the Natural Sciences book series (SNS, volume 8)


In 1974 an important experimental milestone was achieved in the development of laser fusion power. Laser driven implosions were achieved in which moderately high compressions (~ 100 fold) and fusion neutrons were produced. This is perhaps one of the most significant technical milestones since the development of the laser fusion concepts in 1960–61 (Figure 1). Only a few hundred ergs of energy were released in the best of these experiments, and the DT was imploded to densities of ≈ lg/cm3, whereas fusion energies of 1014ergs and densities of 1000 g/cm3 must be achieved for power production applications. Nonetheless, the results are significant in at least two respects. First a Lawson number of ~ 2 × 1012 and a DT temperature of ~ 1 keV were achieved. This is comparable to the performance of the best magnetic confinement approaches (Figure 2). Second, these experiments are substantially in agreement with our LASNEX laser implosion/fusion microexplosion calculations--which also predict the feasibility of laser initiated fusion micro explosions with sufficiently high efficiency for power production.


Electron Runaway Neutron Production Laser Fusion Superthermal Electron Fusion Neutron 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • John H. Nuckolls
    • 1
  1. 1.Lawrence Livermore LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaLivermoreUSA

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