Colloquium: Dr. Matthias Hohenberger (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)
Abstract: At approximately 1 am on December 5th, 2022, a fusion experiment at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved, for the first time, a target gain exceeding 1. By imploding a small capsule containing deuterium-tritium fuel with 2.05 MJ of laser light, the resulting fusion reactions released a total energy of 3.15 MJ of nuclear fusion yield, thus exceeding the initial input energy. This was the first time for a laboratory experiment to meet the 1997 definition by the National Academy of Sciences of fusion ignition, an accomplishment six decades in the making. It is the result of focused work by a multi-lab team and required significant advances in high-energy-density physics, as well as laser, target, and diagnostics capabilities. This talk will discuss this momentous result, the steps that went into achieving it, and the implications of this achievement for Inertial Fusion Energy.