Inertial Fusion Physics

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Code Completion Credits Range Language
12FIF Z,ZK 4 3+1 Czech
Garant předmětu:
Department of Laser Physics and Photonics

These lectures aim to introduce to the topic of inertial confinement fusion (ICF). Physical processes, which take place during the individual stages before and after ignition of the fuel are discussed. The problems (instabilities etc.), which make the inertial confinement and the ignition of the fuel more demanding are discussed and their potential solutions are presented. New projects in the field of ICF including some preliminary reactor designes are reviewed.


Knowledge of basic course of physics

02TEF1,2 Theoretical physics 1,2

Syllabus of lectures:

1) Earth energy balance, energy production methods, greenhouse effect, nuclear fusion

2) Options for fusion initialization, muon catalysis versus high temperature, Lawson criterion

3) Principle of Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), energy gain, necessity of fuel compression, directly driven and indirectly driven ICF, inertial confinement fusion for energy production (IFE)

4) Shell target, aspect ratio, ablative shell acceleration, shock wave, spherical cumulation

5) Hydrodynamic instabilities, laser imprint

6) Laser interaction, laser beam propagation in corona, laser beam homogenization, laser absorption, parametric instabilities, stimulated Brillouin and Raman scattering

7) Energy transport in target, electron heat flux, radiation transport

8) Fusion spark, fusion burn wave, induced magnetic fields, particle kinetics

9) Fast ignition of ICF, subpicosecond laser interactions with targets

10) Target manufacturing for ICF, special target layers, cryogenic targets

11) Interaction of intense ion beams with targets

12) Concepts of energy reactors for IFE, tritium production, first wall protection

13) Advantages and drawbacks of energy drivers for IFE

14) High energy density physics, strongly coupled plasma, Equation-of-State at extreme pressures, laboratory astrophysics

15) Other laser-plasma applications - X-ray laser and sources, electron and ion acceleration

Syllabus of tutorials:

1) Energy balance in the compressed shell target

2) Energy gain from the target

3) Strong and weak shock waves and comparison with adiabatic compression

4) Rayleigh-Taylor instability

5) Laser-plasma instabilities

6) Abaltion and energy transport

Study Objective:


Students should gain basic knowledge about the physical processes, which take place during the individual stages before and after ignition of the fuel, the problems, which make the inertial confinement and the ignition of the fuel more demanding and their potential solutions.


Understanding the basic processes taking part in the inertial confinement fusion and become familiar with the new findings and approaches in this topic.

Study materials:

Key references:

[1] S. Atzeni, J. Meyer-ter-Vehn, The Physics of Inertial Fusion: Beam Plasma Interaction, Hydrodynamics, Hot Dense Matter, Oxford Univ. Press, Oxforf 2004

Recommended references:

[2] S. Eliezer, The Interaction of High/Power Lasers with Plasmas, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol 2002

[3] K. Niu, Nuclear Fusion. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge, UK, 1989.

[4] C. Yamanaka, Introduction to Laser Fusion, Harwood Academic, London 1991

[5] Laser Plasma Interactions 5: Inertial Confinement Fusion, edited by M.B. Hooper. SUSSP Publications, Edinburgh, 1995, pp. 105-137.

[6] W.L. Kruer, The Physics of Laser-Plasma Interactions. Addison-Wesley, New York, 1988.

Further information:
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The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2024-06-16
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