Inertial Confinement Fusion

Dr John Pasley

Summary: Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) seeks to assemble tiny quantities of deuterium-tritium fuel to conditions of extreme temperature and density such that it will undergo explosive thermonuclear burning. The energy released by these micro-explosions could potentially be captured to produce electrical energy. I shall discuss the fundamentals of this approach to fusion and briefly outline the history of the research, which has its roots in the cold war, and for many years was carried out largely in secret.

Biographical note: Dr John Pasley is a Senior Lecturer at the York Plasma Institute. He received his PhD from Imperial College in 2004, and did his postdoctoral research at the University of California. He has done work in many different areas related to the Inertial Confinement approach to Nuclear Fusion, and has over 100 publications in related areas. At present Dr Pasley is particularly interested in hydrodynamics launched by the interaction of high-intensity short pulses of laser radiation with intensities upward of 10^18W/cm^2 and durations of less than 10ps.