Stanford EE

Design of first ever fusion experiment to produce more energy than what went in, and what’s next?

(Doors open at 5pm)
Dr. Andrea (Annie) Kritcher (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Dinkelspiel Auditorium
Stanford-SLAC Workshop on Extreme Energy

Abstract: The inertial fusion community has been working towards ignition for decades, since the idea of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) was first proposed by Nuckolls, et al., in 1972. On Dec 5th, 2022, the Lawson criterion for ignition was met and more fusion energy was created than laser energy incident on the target at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Northern California. Improvements to the target physics design and the laser driver were made to increase the fusion energy output to >3MJ from 2.05 MJ of laser energy on target, resulting in the first experiment to achieve target gain exceeding unity in a controlled laboratory setting. These results proves that there is nothing fundamentally limiting controlled fusion energy gain in the laboratory and potentially harnessing fusion for a clean limitless source of energy. Since then, we have further increased fusion energy to 5.2 MJ and target gain to ~2.4x. The presentation will detail how more fusion energy was produced and ongoing work to improve on and use this milestone result.

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