Publications associated with Plasma Accelerators and Ultrafast X-rays

Numerical modeling of the sensitivity of x-ray driven implosions to low-mode flux asymmetries

Physical Review Letters 110 (2013)

RHH Scott, DS Clark, DK Bradley, DA Callahan, MJ Edwards, SW Haan, OS Jones, BK Spears, MM Marinak, RPJ Town, PA Norreys, LJ Suter

The sensitivity of inertial confinement fusion implosions, of the type performed on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), to low-mode flux asymmetries is investigated numerically. It is shown that large-amplitude, low-order mode shapes (Legendre polynomial P4), resulting from low-order flux asymmetries, cause spatial variations in capsule and fuel momentum that prevent the deuterium and tritium (DT) "ice" layer from being decelerated uniformly by the hot spot pressure. This reduces the transfer of implosion kinetic energy to internal energy of the central hot spot, thus reducing the neutron yield. Furthermore, synthetic gated x-ray images of the hot spot self-emission indicate that P4 shapes may be unquantifiable for DT layered capsules. Instead the positive P4 asymmetry "aliases" itself as an oblate P2 in the x-ray images. Correction of this apparent P2 distortion can further distort the implosion while creating a round x-ray image. Long wavelength asymmetries may be playing a significant role in the observed yield reduction of NIF DT implosions relative to detailed postshot two-dimensional simulations. © 2013 American Physical Society.

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