First Stellar Nucleosynthesis Experiments Using ICF Plasmas

Alex Zylstra, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For the first time, Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) plasmas have been used to study a stellar nucleosynthesis reaction, 3He+3He, which is the final step of the PP-1 chain that burns H into He in main sequence stars. ICF plasmas span a wide range of densities and temperatures and include plasmas relevant to stellar cores. This type of study opens new areas of research into stellar nucleosynthesis and low-energy nuclear physics at conditions unattainable in conventional accelerator experiments, in the new field of plasma nuclear science. In this experiment we measured charged-particle spectra from the 3He(3He,2p)4He and 3He(3He,p)5Li reactions in thin-glass implosions at the OMEGA laser facility. The data agree with previous results on the reaction channel branching ratio and will be used to address the effects of final-state interactions between the fusion products. This work was supported in part by the U.S. DOE, LLNL and LLE.

Abstract Author(s): A. Zylstra, J. Frenje, C. K. Li, D. Casey, F. S├ęguin, N. Sinenian, M. Gatu Johnson, M. Rosenberg, H. Rinderknecht, H. Sio, C. Waugh, R. Petrasso, MIT; R. Boyd, D. McNabb, J. Pino, S. Quaglioni, A. Smith, I. Thomson, LLNL; J. Delettrez, V. Yu Glebov, P. Radha, T.C. Sangster, LLE; A. Bacher, IU; J. Kilkenny, A. Nikroo, GA