Brief Communication | Published:

Nuclear fusion

Fast heating scalable to laser fusion ignition

Nature volume 418, pages 933934 (29 August 2002) | Download Citation

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Abstract

Rapid heating of a compressed fusion fuel by a short-duration laser pulse is a promising route to generating energy by nuclear fusion1, and has been demonstrated on an experimental scale using a novel fast-ignitor geometry2. Here we describe a refinement of this system in which a much more powerful, pulsed petawatt (1015 watts) laser creates a fast-heated core plasma that is scalable to full-scale ignition, significantly increasing the number of fusion events while still maintaining high heating efficiency at these substantially higher laser energies. Our findings bring us a step closer to realizing the production of relatively inexpensive, full-scale fast-ignition laser facilities.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. *Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University, 2-6 Yamada-oka, Suita Osaka 565-0871, Japan

    • R. Kodama
  2. †Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire OX11 0QX, UK

    • H. Shiraga
    • , K. Shigemori
    • , Y. Toyama
    • , S. Fujioka
    • , H. Azechi
    • , H. Fujita
    •  & H. Habara
  3. ‡University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK

    • T. Hall
    • , K. L. Lancaster
    • , K. Mima
    • , K. Nagai
    • , M. Nakai
    • , H. Nishimura
    •  & T. Norimatsu
  4. §Blacket Laboratory, Imperial College, London SW7 2BZ, UK

    • Y. Izawa
    • , T. Jitsuno
    • , Y. Kitagawa
    • , K. M. Krushelnick
    •  & K. L. Lancaster
  5. Institute of Laser Engineering and Faculty of Engineering, Osaka University, Suita Osaka 565-0871, Japan

    • S. Sakabe
    •  & K. A. Tanaka
  6. ¶Queen's University of Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, UK

    • A. Youssef
    • , M. Zepf
    •  & T. Yamanaka
  7. The Fast-Ignitor Consortium

    • R. Kodama
    • , H. Shiraga
    • , K. Shigemori
    • , Y. Toyama
    • , S. Fujioka
    • , H. Azechi
    • , H. Fujita
    • , H. Habara
    • , T. Hall
    • , Y. Izawa
    • , T. Jitsuno
    • , Y. Kitagawa
    • , K. M. Krushelnick
    • , K. L. Lancaster
    • , K. Mima
    • , K. Nagai
    • , M. Nakai
    • , H. Nishimura
    • , T. Norimatsu
    • , P. A. Norreys
    • , S. Sakabe
    • , K. A. Tanaka
    • , A. Youssef
    • , M. Zepf
    •  & T. Yamanaka

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to R. Kodama.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/418933a

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