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Review about acceleration of plasma by nonlinear forces from picoseond laser pulses and block generated fusion flame in uncompressed fuel

Laser and Particle Beams (Impact Factor: 2.02). 01/2011; 29:353. DOI: 10.1017/S0263034611000413

ABSTRACT In addition to the matured "laser inertial fusion energy" with spherical compression and thermal ignition of deuterium-tritium (DT), a very new alternative for the fast ignition scheme may have now been opened by using side-on block ignition aiming beyond the DT-fusion with igniting the neutron-free reaction of proton-boron-11 (p-11 B). Measurements with laser pulses of terawatt power and ps duration led to the discovery of an anomaly of interaction, if the prepulses are cut off by a factor 10 8 (contrast ratio) to avoid relativistic self focusing in agreement with preceding computations. Applying this to petawatt (PW) pulses for Bobin-Chu conditions of side-on ignition of solid fusion fuel results after several improvements in energy gains of 10,000. This is in contrast to the impossible laser-ignition of p-11 B by the usual spherical compression and thermal ignition. The side-on ignition is less than ten times only more difficult than for DT ignition. This is essentially based on the instant and direct conversion the optical laser energy by the nonlinear force into extremely high plasma acceleration. Genuine two-fluid hydrodynamic computations for DT are presented showing details how ps laser pulses generate a fusion flame in solid state density with an increase of the density in the thin flame region. Densities four times higher are produced automatically confirming a Rankine-Hugoniot shock wave process with an increasing thickness of the shock up to the nanosecond range and a shock velocity of 1500 km/s which is characteristic for these reactions.

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