Compact Lasers at CSU Recreate the Fusion-Making Environment of Stars

The future to laser-driven fusion has been opened with the research conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists. Within this research, scientists created pressures of more than a billion atmospheres. That equals to the pressure in the center of a medium-sized star.

After LLNL’s groundbreaking innovation, Colorado State University (CSU) took the research to a new level. In collaboration with LLNL scientists, CSU conducted an experiment that creates the known extreme conditions with much compact lasers.

While LLNL’s portion was funded by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program, the proceeding research was supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Beyond what is already discovered, many predictions were made about the future technology through this research. By extrapolating the experiments’ numerical modeling graphs, it is predicted that even higher pressures, 100 times of the current condition, can be created in the future by using higher intensity lasers.

The result of the research was published in the Science Advances magazine’s 11th edition on January. Additionally, it is believed that the research can open a new era in the ultra-high energy-density Physics. Thus, this means that the known facts about how highly charged atoms behave in dense plasmas or how light propagates at ultrahigh pressures, temperatures and densities can fundamentally change.

These advances will also be effective in the laser-driven fusion research, as the understanding of atomic processes in extreme environments can now be researched more accurately. If matter can be created in these extreme but small environments, the plasma state can be more accessible for fundamental research.

[via LLNL]


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