Symmetry tuning with megajoule laser pulses at the National Ignition Facility
1 Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA
2 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94551, USA
3 General Atomics, San Diego, CA 92121, USA
Published online: 15 November 2013
Experiments conducted at the National Ignition Facility using shaped laser pulses with more than 1 MJ of energy have demonstrated the ability to control the implosion symmetry under ignition conditions. To achieve thermonuclear ignition, the low mode asymmetries must be small to minimize the size of the hotspot. The symmetry tuning experiments use symmetry capsules, “symcaps”, which replace the DT fuel with an equivalent mass of CH to emulate the hydrodynamic behavior of an ignition capsule. The x-ray self-emission signature from gas inside the capsule during the peak compression correlates with the surrounding hotspot shape. By tuning the shape of the self-emission, the capsule implosion symmetry can be made to be “round.” In the experimental results presented here, we utilized crossbeam energy transfer [S. H. Glenzer, et al., Science 327, 1228 (2010)] to change the ratio of the inner to outer cone power inside the hohlraum targets on the NIF. Variations in the ratio of the inner cone to outer cone power affect the radiation pattern incident on the capsule modifying the implosion symmetry.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2013
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