Measurements of Spontaneous Magnetic Fields in Laser-Produced Plasmas
The creation of a dense high-temperature plasma by intense laser pulses is of prime interest to the field of thermonuclear research. Focussed onto a small deuterium-tritium fuel pellet, laser pulses can heat the matter to thermonuclear temperatures within a few nanoseconds releasing nuclear energy before the hot plasma blows apart. The present excitement about laser induced fusion is based on the results of extensive computer simulation experiments. The concept requires a sequence of time-tailored laser pulses to be focussed evenly onto a small pellet of deuterium-tritium ice. The successive ablation of outer layers of material produces a sequence of shock waves which converge space and time-wise towards the center of the sphere. These shock waves compress the core of the pellet by a factor of 103 to 104 above solid state density and heat the matter to thermonuclear temperature. In this manner a high energy state of matter can be created and investigated which otherwise exists only in the inner core of stars.
KeywordsFocal Spot Axial Distance Laser Plasma Background Plasma Radial Temperature Gradient
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