Grand Challenge

Laser fusion is a grand challenge for humanity and promises many disruptive scientific applications, including nucleosynthesis of high-Z elements, future power generation and the brightest possible source for neutron scattering science. Inertial fusion energy requires the development of 100 MWe reactors to be competitive with renewable energy sources from the mid-21st Century. We are exploring different ways to solve this difficult problem, including both auxiliary heating and fast ignition, along with the use of low-convergence ratio direct-drive implosions.

Extreme intensity multi-petawatt laser systems offer many new opportunities for discovery science, including ultra-bright X-ray sources, particle acceleration and novel routes to fundamental physics via photon-photon scattering.