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Laser fusion target illumination system

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Abstract

Laser fusion experiments require the focusing of very intense pulsed laser beams onto very small fuel pellets. All reported experiments to date have used lenses to focus one or more laser beams onto the target. This paper describes a combined refractive/reflective illumination system that provides nearly uniform irradiance with nearly orthogonal incidence over the complete spherical target, with only two laser beams. This illumination system was used in the experiments that produced the first known symmetric target implosions. Furthermore, these experiments produced what we believe were the first thermonuclear neutrons generated by a laser-driven implosion.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

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