Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) was first discussed in public in 1972 in a famous paper published in Nature by John Nuckolls and colleagues at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The idea in the Nature paper is to compress and heat a small capsule containing a mixture of deuterium and tritium (the thermonuclear fuel) using high-power lasers. The compressed fuel is at this point in the plasma state and thermonuclear reactions take place until the fuel disassembles. The subject has developed both theoretically and experimentally since that time. Most recently experiments at the National Ignition Facility, a 2MJ laser at LLNL, have shown energy production that exceeds the thermal energy of the thermonuclear plasma. However ICF is still a long way from demonstrating energy gain – more energy from the thermonuclear reactions than is input from the laser. In this talk we will look at the long history of ICF and discuss its future prospects.
All are welcome to attend this event, no registration required. Please bring partners, colleagues and interested friends!