Plasma Nuclear Science: A New Field of Research Enabled by OMEGA and the NIF

Friday, 14 February 2014
Water Tower (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Johan Frenje , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
For stellar nucleosynthesis, nuclear reaction rates and nuclear processes are difficult to study with conventional accelerators. This is because the fusing nuclei are surrounded by bound electrons in accelerator experiments, whereas electrons occupy mainly continuum states in a stellar environment. Nuclear physics research thus benefits from an enlarged toolkit for studies of various nuclear reactions. We report here on the first use of high power laser facilities for studies of basic nuclear physics.