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Title: Thermonuclear reactions probed at stellar-core conditions with laser-based inertial-confinement fusion

Stars are giant thermonuclear plasma furnaces that slowly fuse the lighter elements in the universe into heavier elements, releasing energy, and generating the pressure required to prevent collapse. To understand stars, we must rely on nuclear reaction rate data obtained, up to now, under conditions very different from those of stellar cores. Here we show thermonuclear measurements of the 2H(d, n) 3He and 3H(t,2n) 4He S-factors at a range of densities (1.2–16 g cm –3) and temperatures (2.1–5.4 keV) that allow us to test the conditions of the hydrogen-burning phase of main-sequence stars. The relevant conditions are created using inertial-confinement fusion implosions at the National Ignition Facility. Here, our data agree within uncertainty with previous accelerator-based measurements and establish this approach for future experiments to measure other reactions and to test plasma-nuclear effects present in stellar interiors, such as plasma electron screening, directly in the environments where they occur.
Authors:
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  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Ohio Univ., Athens, OH (United States)
  3. Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
  4. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
LLNL-JRNL-692682
Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473; TRN: US1703247
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 1745-2473
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group (NPG)
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING; 79 ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS
OSTI Identifier:
1404861