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Title: On thermonuclear ignition criterion at the National Ignition Facility

Sustained thermonuclear fusion at the National Ignition Facility remains elusive. Although recent experiments approached or exceeded the anticipated ignition thresholds, the nuclear performance of the laser-driven capsules was well below predictions in terms of energy and neutron production. Such discrepancies between expectations and reality motivate a reassessment of the physics of ignition. We have developed a predictive analytical model from fundamental physics principles. Based on the model, we obtained a general thermonuclear ignition criterion in terms of the areal density and temperature of the hot fuel. This newly derived ignition threshold and its alternative forms explicitly show the minimum requirements of the hot fuel pressure, mass, areal density, and burn fraction for achieving ignition. Comparison of our criterion with existing theories, simulations, and the experimental data shows that our ignition threshold is more stringent than those in the existing literature and that our results are consistent with the experiments.
Authors:
; ; ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico 87545 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22299688
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physics of Plasmas; Journal Volume: 21; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
70 PLASMA PHYSICS AND FUSION TECHNOLOGY; LASERS; MASS; NEUTRONS; PERFORMANCE; SIMULATION; THERMONUCLEAR FUELS; THERMONUCLEAR IGNITION; US NATIONAL IGNITION FACILITY