LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY
The goal of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) is to release copious amounts of energy by compressing isotopes of hydrogen to extreme conditions: i.e. densities and pressures, existing only for a few pico-seconds, that exceed those found in the core of our sun. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) was built to explore these conditions and attempt to demonstrate controlled thermonuclear fusion in the laboratory. The diagnoses of these extreme conditions at the short timescales and in the harsh environments where they exist is very challenging indeed. A suite of world-class diagnostics (including optical, x-ray, and neutron detectors) have been developed to accomplish these goals. This talk with introduce some basic requirements of ICF and techniques used to diagnose these experiments. Additionally, it will discuss a few techniques we are exploring for the future.
Daniel Casey and Laura Robin Benedetti are staff scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory studying inertial confinement fusion (ICF) at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). They work on diagnosing and understanding the properties of ICF implosions as the implosion achieves its highest densities and temperatures (stagnation).
Daniel Casey also performs experiments to study the growth of hydrodynamic instabilities of imploding capsules that can impede performance. Previously, he helped design and commission the magnetic recoil spectrometer that measures the neutron spectrum of NIF implosions. Dr. Casey obtained his B.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering from the University of New Mexico (2005) and a Ph. D. in Applied Plasma Physics from the department of Nuclear Science and Engineering at MIT (2012).
Laura Robin Benedetti also probes the properties of materials at extreme pressures, temperatures, and strain rates. Additionally, she is a world recognized expert at high speed x-ray imaging instruments and related technologies. Prior to working at LLNL she studied the physical and chemical properties of materials in giant planets. Dr. Benedetti has a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering and a B. A. in Philosophy from the University of Southern California (1994) and a Ph.D. in Physics from University of California Berkeley (2001).