Lecture: "Demonstration of ignition and a burning fusion plasma on the national ignition facility"


Professor Siegfried Glenzer
Department of Energy Sciences
Director, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
Stanford University
Stanford, California, USA


11 April 2024, 15:00 
Pavilion 10, Expo, Rokach Blvd 101, Tel Aviv-Yafo  

Professor Siegfried Glenzer is ​2023/2024 Fulbright-TAU Senior Scholar of the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies.



The demonstration of energy gain by nuclear fusion in the laboratory and its eventual utilization as an unlimited energy source has been a grand challenge for physicists and engineers for 70 years. The realization as an industrial energy source would have a tremendous impact on our society and would change our approach to energy policy and climate change. In this talk, I will present the very recent achievement of multi-megajoule energy yield from deuterium-tritium plasmas in indirectly driven inertial confinement fusion implosions on the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, CA, USA. These experiments exceed fusion powers of 70 PW in a single event, vastly exceeding human’s power consumption by a factor of 3,000. This achievement came after increasing the fusion energy yield by a factor of 2,000 since the first experiments on the National Ignition Facility about a decade ago. I will discuss the discoveries and roadblocks towards ignition and how obstacles were overcome. Currently, several avenues towards power generation by fusion ignition and high yield are beginning to emerge where efforts towards laser and target technology developments have been launched through the U.S. DOE’s Starfire program. I will review these efforts and will discuss the role of the emerging private industry in this field.


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