Dr. Tammy Ma, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the world's largest and most energetic laser system. The 1.8 MJ of energy in NIF's 192 laser beams is designed to create very extreme states of matter ‐ temperatures more than 100 million Kand pressures more than 200 billion atmospheres ‐conditions emulating those found in the interiors of stars and planets. One of the main NIF campaigns is focused on demonstrating thermonuclear burn in the laboratory by laser inertial fusion. Rapid progress is being made, with recent experiments demonstrating fuel gains ‐2 (two times more fusion energy generated than delivered to the fuel) and significant alpha heating. Work continues toward the goal of full ignition, and achieving this will be a major step towards demonstrating the feasibility of laser‐based fusion as a source of abundant, carbon‐free energy. We will provide an update on the progress and challenges toward controlled laboratory nuclear fusion.
Flyer PDF: ma_tammy_physics_flyer1.pdf