Symmetric Inertial Confinement Fusion Implosions at Ultra-High Laser Energies

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Science  28 Jan 2010:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1185634


Indirect-drive hohlraum experiments at the National Ignition Facility have demonstrated symmetric capsule implosions at unprecedented laser drive energies of 0.7 MJ. One hundred and ninety-two simultaneously fired laser beams heat ignition emulate hohlraums to radiation temperatures of 3.3 million Kelvin, compressing 1.8-mm capsules by the soft x-rays produced by the hohlraum. Self-generated plasma-optics gratings on either end of the hohlraum tune the laser power distribution in the hohlraum producing symmetric x-ray drive as inferred from the shape of the capsule self-emission. These experiments indicate conditions suitable for compressing deuterium-tritium filled capsules with the goal to achieve burning fusion plasmas and energy gain in the laboratory.