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Laser fusion system and method

Alpha particlesClean fusion reactionsEnergy productionLaser-driven reactionsProton-Boron reaction

Introduction

Nuclear fusion reactions, for example, the fusion of light nuclei such as hydrogen, deuterium and tritium etc. towards heavier nuclei are of particular interest for various purposes. Apart from scientific and medical applications, one of the most important applications for nuclear fusion reactions is the generation of energy and of electricity. The present invention relates to a system and a method for producing “almost clean” nuclear fusion reactions induced by laser pulse.

Technical features

The invention describes a system, a method and a target for producing nuclear fusion reactions. A laser is used to irradiate a particular kind of target by a single temporally shaped laser pulse comprising a pre-pulse and a main pulse. The pre-pulse is used to generate a first plasma in front of the target. The system is configured such that this first plasma is capable to focus the main laser pulse onto the target, i.e. to reduce the focal spot size compared to the first or pre-pulse. The plasma initiates a so-called self-focusing of the main laser pulse onto the target. The focused main laser pulse can then be used to accelerate first particles such that these accelerated first particles produce nuclear fusion reactions with second particles contained in the target.

With respect to  conventional systems for induction of nuclear fusion reactions, the proposed system features a very simple experimental set-up which is able to efficiently induce a large  variety  of exothermic fusion reactions.

Possible Applications

  • Scientific applications such as: particle acceleration by nuclear fusion reaction injected by laser;
  • Efficient generation of energy and of electricity by means of low power density laser pulse;
  • Realization of energy sources whiteout radioactive waste (no gamma rays or neutrons emission) that are present in other kind of fusion reaction such us, D-D, D-T ecc.

Advantages

  • Induction of a large variety of exothermic fusion reactions;
  • Enormous increase in the number of alpha particles produced in the nuclear fusion reaction in comparison to other laser facilities to date;
  • A very simple experimental set-up: one laser with an ad hoc temporal shaped pulse and an advanced target containing the precursors atoms of the reaction.