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Title: Device and method for relativistic electron beam heating of a high-density plasma to drive fast liners

A device and method for relativistic electron beam heating of a high-density plasma in a small localized region. A relativistic electron beam generator or accelerator produces a high-voltage electron beam which propagates along a vacuum drift tube and is modulated to initiate electron bunching within the beam. The beam is then directed through a low-density gas chamber which provides isolation between the vacuum modulator and the relativistic electron beam target. The relativistic beam is then applied to a high-density target plasma which typically comprises DT, DD, hydrogen boron or similar thermonuclear gas at a density of 10.sup.17 to 10.sup.20 electrons per cubic centimeter. The target gas is ionized prior to application of the electron beam by means of a laser or other preionization source to form a plasma. Utilizing a relativistic electron beam with an individual particle energy exceeding 3 MeV, classical scattering by relativistic electrons passing through isolation foils is negligible. As a result, relativistic streaming instabilities are initiated within the high-density target plasma causing the relativistic electron beam to efficiently deposit its energy and momentum into a small localized region of the high-density plasma target. Fast liners disposed in the high-density target plasma are explosively or ablatively drivenmore » to implosion by a heated annular plasma surrounding the fast liner which is generated by an annular relativistic electron beam. An azimuthal magnetic field produced by axial current flow in the annular plasma, causes the energy in the heated annular plasma to converge on the fast liner.« less
  1. (Los Alamos, NM)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
United States of America as represented by U.S. Department of (Washington, DC) LANL
Patent Number(s):
US 4248665
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM
Country of Publication:
United States
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