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Laser-driven nuclear fusion D+D in ultra-dense deuterium: MeV particles formed without ignition

Journal article
Authors Shahriar Badiei
Patrik U Andersson
Leif Holmlid
Published in Laser and Particle Beams
Volume 28
Issue 2
Pages 313-317
ISSN 0263-0346
Publication year 2010
Published at Department of Chemistry
Pages 313-317
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1017/S026303461000023...
Keywords ultra-dense deuterium; ultra-dense hydrogen; condensed atomic hydrogen; fusion; Coulomb explosion (CE); time-of-flight
Subject categories Fusion, Electronic structure

Abstract

The short D-D distance of 2.3 pm in the condensed material ultra-dense deuterium means that it is possible that only a small disturbance is required to give D+D fusion. This disturbance could be an intense laser pulse. The high excess kinetic energy of several hundred eV given to the deuterons by laser induced Coulomb explosions in the material increases the probability of spontaneous fusion without the need for a high plasma temperature. The temperature calculated from the normal kinetic energy of the deuterons of 630 eV from the Coulomb explosions is 7 MK, maybe a factor of 10 lower than required for ignition. We now report on experiments where several types of high-energy particles from laser impact on ultra-dense deuterium are detected by plastic scintillators. Fast particles with energy up to 2 MeV are detected at a time-of-flight as short as 60 ns, while neutrons are detected at 50 ns time-of-flight after passage through a steel plate. A strong signal peaking at 22.6 keV u-1 is interpreted as due to mainly T retarded by collisions with H atoms in the surrounding cloud of dense atomic hydrogen.

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