Experimental study of fusion neutron and proton yields produced by petawatt-laser-irradiated D

W. Bang, M. Barbui, A. Bonasera, H.J. Quevedo, G. Dyer, A.C. Bernstein, K. Hagel, K. Schmidt, E. Gaul, M.E. Donovan, F. Consoli, R. De Angelis, P. Andreoli, M. Barbarino, S. Kimura, M. Mazzocco, J.B. Natowitz, T. Ditmire

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We report on experiments in which the Texas Petawatt laser irradiated a mixture of deuterium or deuterated methane clusters and helium-3 gas, generating three types of nuclear fusion reactions: D(d,3He)n, D(d,t)p, and 3He(d,p)4He. We measured the yields of fusion neutrons and protons from these reactions and found them to agree with yields based on a simple cylindrical plasma model using known cross sections and measured plasma parameters. Within our measurement errors, the fusion products were isotropically distributed. Plasma temperatures, important for the cross sections, were determined by two independent methods: (1) deuterium ion time of flight and (2) utilizing the ratio of neutron yield to proton yield from D(d,3He)n and 3He(d,p)4He reactions, respectively. This experiment produced the highest ion temperature ever achieved with laser-irradiated deuterium clusters. © 2013 American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number033108
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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