Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Nuclear fusion reaction kinetics and ignition processes in Z pinches
Author: Appelbe, Brian Daniel
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 3706
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
This thesis presents work on two topics related to nuclear fusion in plasmas. The first topic is the energy spectrum of products of fusion reactions in plasmas, called the production spectrum. The second is an investigation of the fusion reaction processes in high energy density Z pinch plasmas and the feasibility of ignition of such plasmas. A method is presented for the derivation of production spectra for plasmas with various distributions of ion velocities. The method is exact, requiring the solution of a 5 dimensional integral and is suitable for both isotropic and anisotropic distributions. It is shown that many of the integrals can be solved analytically. The solutions are used to study the spectra of neutron energies produced by deuterium-deuterium and deuterium-tritium reactions. It is found that for maxwellian distributions of ions the neutron spectrum is asymmetric with a longer high energy tail when compared with gaussian approximations of the spectrum. Deuterium and deuterium-tritium Z pinch plasmas are studied computationally using a hybrid code in which the fuel is modelled as a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) fluid and fast ions are modelled as discrete particle-in-cell (PIC) particles. Using a Z pinch model in which the magnetic and thermal pressures are in equilibrium it is found that significant energy gain can be achieved for currents greater than 50MA. Deuterium gas puff experiments with a 15MA current are also analysed computationally in order to determine the reaction mechanism. The results of MHD simulations in 3 dimensions are post-processed with a PIC code to model reactions occurring due to the acceleration of deuterium ions by large electric fields. It is found that reactions due to this beam-target mechanism represent a small fraction (0.0001) of the number of thermonuclear reactions.
Supervisor: Chittenden, Jeremy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral