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Full scale simulations of Fast Ignition for Fusion Energy

Project FastIFE
Research Area Plasma & Particle Physics
Principal Investigator(s) Luís O. Silva
  • Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal
  • University of California, Los Angeles, USA


Energy is the ultimate driver for economic growth and social development. Fusion energy is regarded as a possible long-term energy solution for humanity that is environment-friendly and safe. Fast ignition is one of the most promising and exciting inertial confinement fusion schemes to improve the viability of inertial fusion energy as a practical energy source. Up to now, experiments have been limited to laser energies still far from ideal conditions for ignition and simulations, which are extremely complex due to the different temporal and spatial scales involved, have been limited to reduced scales/simplified models. Novel laser systems with unprecedented energies are now coming online, with the National Ignition Facility and, in the near future, the ESFRI roadmap project HiPER (High Power laser Energy Research), reaching the conditions required for ignition. In this proposal, and using massively parallel simulations, we aim to perform, for the first time with realistic target properties (e.g. density, temperature, dimensions) and the correct simulation dimensionality, self-consistent fast ignition simulations including all the relevant microphysics/particle dynamics, with the particle-in-cell code OSIRIS, with the goal of identifying possible paths to demonstrate fast ignition as an efficient scheme for inertial fusion energy.

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