Model-independent determination of the astrophysical S factor in laser-induced fusion plasmas

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

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In this work, we present a new and general method for measuring the astrophysical S factor of nuclear reactions in laser-induced plasmas and we apply it to H2(d,n)He3. The experiment was performed with the Texas Petawatt Laser, which delivered 150-270 fs pulses of energy ranging from 90 to 180 J to D2 or CD4 molecular clusters (where D denotes 2H). After removing the background noise, we used the measured time-of-flight data of energetic deuterium ions to obtain their energy distribution. We derive the S factor using the measured energy distribution of the ions, the measured volume of the fusion plasma, and the measured fusion yields. This method is model independent in the sense that no assumption on the state of the system is required, but it requires an accurate measurement of the ion energy distribution, especially at high energies, and of the relevant fusion yields. In the H2(d,n)He3 and He3(d,p)He4 cases discussed here, it is very important to apply the background subtraction for the energetic ions and to measure the fusion yields with high precision. While the available data on both ion distribution and fusion yields allow us to determine with good precision the S factor in the d+d case (lower Gamow energies), for the d+He3 case the data are not precise enough to obtain the S factor using this method. Our results agree with other experiments within the experimental error, even though smaller values of the S factor were obtained. This might be due to the plasma environment differing from the beam target conditions in a conventional accelerator experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number045808
Pages (from-to)-
JournalPhysical Review C
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

Cite this

Lattuada, D., Barbarino, M., Bonasera, A., Bang, W., Quevedo, H. J., Warren, M., ... Ditmire, T. (2016). Model-independent determination of the astrophysical S factor in laser-induced fusion plasmas. Physical Review C, 93(4), -. [045808].