Non-Maxwellian Effects in Inertial Confinement Fusion

Seth Davidovits, Princeton University

While in collisional plasma the bulk of the distribution function is driven toward Maxwellian in a few collision times, the high-velocity tails can take much longer to form. The fast ions in these tails have much larger fusion cross-sections than thermal ions, and contribute substantially to fusion production. We investigate the possibility of enhancement or depletion of these tails in regimes relevant to inertial confinement fusion and the corresponding effects on fusion reactivity. There are a number of possible scenarios which may yield such non-Maxwellian tails, including, for example, hydrodynamic flows and Knudsen layer effects.

Abstract Author(s): Seth Davidovits, Nathaniel J. Fisch