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IPFS News Link • Science

Laser PB11 Fusion Yield Increased 40 Fold

• arclein

The nuclear reaction known as proton-boron fusion has been triggered by a subnanosecond laser system focused onto a thick boron nitride target at modest laser intensity (?10^16 watts per square centimeter), resulting in a record yield of generated ? particles. The estimated value of ? particles emitted per laser pulse is around 100 billion thus orders of magnitude higher than any other experimental result previously reported. The accelerated ?-particle stream shows unique features in terms of kinetic energy (up to 10 MeV), pulse duration (?10 ns), and peak current (?2 Amps) at 1 meter from the source, promising potential applications of such neutronless nuclear fusion reactions. They have used a beam-driven fusion scheme to explain the total number of ? particles generated in the nuclear reaction. In this model, protons accelerated inside the plasma, moving forward into the bulk of the target, can interact with 11B atoms, thus efficiently triggering fusion reactions. An overv