Laser Heated Overdense Plasmas for Thermonuclear Fusion
In this paper we report theoretical and experimental work on the vaporization and heating of spherical overdense plasmas. Details of the required laser optics are described, together with charged particle, x-ray, and neutron diagnostics. A series of numerical experiments have been conducted to investigate the dynamics and neutron production in dense spherically symmetric plasmas. These have led to a development of scalings for energy absorption, shock strength and optimum neutron production. Similar numerical work has also been used to study the conversion of input laser radiation to output soft x-rays from an oxygen doped spherical laser plasma. The fast risetime of the calculated spectra suggests a method of producing a population inversion.
Finally, we put forward one example of a breakeven configuration not requiring anomalous absorption.
KeywordsFocal Spot Electron Number Density Neutron Production Thermal Front Inverse Bremsstrahlung
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