The nuclear reaction known as proton-boron fusion has been triggered by a subnanosecond laser system focused onto a thick boron nitride target at modest laser intensity (∼1016W/cm2), resulting in a record yield of generated α particles. The estimated value of α particles emitted per laser pulse is around 1011, thus orders of magnitude higher than any other experimental result previously reported. The accelerated α-particle stream shows unique features in terms of kinetic energy (up to 10 MeV), pulse duration (∼10 ns), and peak current (∼2 A) at 1 m from the source, promising potential applications of such neutronless nuclear fusion reactions. We have used a beam-driven fusion scheme to explain the total number of α particles generated in the nuclear reaction. In this model, protons accelerated inside the plasma, moving forward into the bulk of the target, can interact with B11 atoms, thus efficiently triggering fusion reactions. An overview of literature results obtained with different laser parameters, experimental setups, and target compositions is reported and discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics