The Good, the Bad and the Ugly:

Fast ignition of inertial confinement fusion

Farhat Beg, UC San Diego
May 17, 2017, 11:00am - 12:00pm, EBU-II 479



The Fast Ignition (FI) concept for Inertial Confinement Fusion has the potential to provide a significant advance in the technical attractiveness of Inertial Fusion Energy. In the fast ignition (FI) scheme of inertial confinement fusion (ICF), compression of the fuel to high density and heating are achieved in separate processes. Similar to conventional ICF, a number of long pulse lasers can be used to compress the fuel shell to create high density plasma. Subsequently, a high energy (over 100 kJ), high intensity (over 1020 W/cm2), short (~10 ps) laser pulse is used to create high-energy (MeV) particles: electrons or ions, which then heat the compressed fuel plasma to initiate ignition. The requirements on the symmetry of the target are less stringent in FI compared to conventional ICF due to the external heating source. In addition, higher gain is expected with the FI scheme because more fuel mass can be assembled with less compression energy.

This scheme involves some of the most challenging and complex physics of laser-matter interactions and energetic particle transport in varying density plasmas. In recent experiments and modeling, critical issues related to electron source, transport through plasma and target design have been identified. In this talk, these issues will be discussed and a path forward will be proposed.



Farhat Beg received his Ph.D. degree in plasma physics from Imperial College, London. In 2003, he joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, where he is currently a Professor of Engineering Physics and Director of the Center for Energy Research. Dr. Beg has been fellow of the American Physical Society since 2009 and the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) since 2011.

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