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Title: The scientific benefits of inertially confined fusion research

Abstract

A striking feature of 25 years of research into inertially confined fusion (ICF) and inertial fusion energy (IFE) has been its significant impact in other fields of science. Most ICF facilities worldwide are now being used in part to support a wider portfolio of research than simply ICF. Reasons for this trend include the high intrinsic interest of the new science coupled with the relative ease and low marginal cost of adapting the facilities particularly lasers, to carry out experiments with goals other than ICF. The availability at ICF laboratories of sophisticated theory and modeling capability and advanced diagnostics has given added impetus. The expertise of ICF specialists has also triggered more lateral scientific spin-offs leading for example to new types of lasers and to related developments in basic science. In a generic sense, the facilities developed for ICF have made possible study of new regimes of the properties of matter at extremely high-energy density and the interaction of ultraintense light with matter. This general opportunity has been exploited in numerous and diverse specific lines of research. Examples elaborated below include laboratory simulation of astrophysical phenomena; studies of the equation of state (EOS) of matter under conditions relevant to themore » interior of planets and stars; development of uniquely intense sources of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) to hard x-ray emission, notably the x-ray laser; understanding of the physics of strong field interaction of light and matter; and related new phenomena such as laser-induced nuclear processes and high-field-electron accelerators. Some of these developments have potential themselves for further scientific exploitation such as the scientific use of advanced light sources. There are also avenues for commercial exploitation, for example the use of laser plasma sources in EUV lithography. Past scientific progress is summarized here and projections are made for new science that may flow from the next generation of ICF and IFE driver facilities. It will be seen that this beneficial spin off strengthens the case for investing in ICF and IFE.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Defense Programs (DP) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
9096
Report Number(s):
UCRL-ID-134026
TRN: US0102745
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 14 May 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ICF DEVICES; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS; ACCELERATORS; ADVANCED LIGHT SOURCE; LASERS; PLANETS; STARS; TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER; THERMONUCLEAR REACTORS

Citation Formats

Key, M. The scientific benefits of inertially confined fusion research. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.2172/9096.
Key, M. The scientific benefits of inertially confined fusion research. United States. doi:10.2172/9096.
Key, M. Fri . "The scientific benefits of inertially confined fusion research". United States. doi:10.2172/9096. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/9096.
@article{osti_9096,
title = {The scientific benefits of inertially confined fusion research},
author = {Key, M},
abstractNote = {A striking feature of 25 years of research into inertially confined fusion (ICF) and inertial fusion energy (IFE) has been its significant impact in other fields of science. Most ICF facilities worldwide are now being used in part to support a wider portfolio of research than simply ICF. Reasons for this trend include the high intrinsic interest of the new science coupled with the relative ease and low marginal cost of adapting the facilities particularly lasers, to carry out experiments with goals other than ICF. The availability at ICF laboratories of sophisticated theory and modeling capability and advanced diagnostics has given added impetus. The expertise of ICF specialists has also triggered more lateral scientific spin-offs leading for example to new types of lasers and to related developments in basic science. In a generic sense, the facilities developed for ICF have made possible study of new regimes of the properties of matter at extremely high-energy density and the interaction of ultraintense light with matter. This general opportunity has been exploited in numerous and diverse specific lines of research. Examples elaborated below include laboratory simulation of astrophysical phenomena; studies of the equation of state (EOS) of matter under conditions relevant to the interior of planets and stars; development of uniquely intense sources of extreme ultraviolet (EUV) to hard x-ray emission, notably the x-ray laser; understanding of the physics of strong field interaction of light and matter; and related new phenomena such as laser-induced nuclear processes and high-field-electron accelerators. Some of these developments have potential themselves for further scientific exploitation such as the scientific use of advanced light sources. There are also avenues for commercial exploitation, for example the use of laser plasma sources in EUV lithography. Past scientific progress is summarized here and projections are made for new science that may flow from the next generation of ICF and IFE driver facilities. It will be seen that this beneficial spin off strengthens the case for investing in ICF and IFE.},
doi = {10.2172/9096},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {5}
}

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