Position: Research PhD
Project Title: Simulations of transport effects in laser-driven pellets for fusion energy
Experiments in the US and EU are currently trying assess the feasibility of firing lasers directly at the deuterium-tritium fuel pellet to drive implosion and ultimately initiate fusion. This is all with a long-term goal of developing a laser driven fusion power source. One possible route forward is so called shock ignition. Here the laser power is kept low while the pellet is being compressed, to avoid deleterious plasma instabilities, and then the power is ramped up at the end to drive a final igniting shock. Crucial to understanding and designing experiments for shock ignition is a well-tested suite of computational codes. This project will begin by testing various algorithms for treating plasma thermal conduction in the regime relevant for shock ignition. Once the best scheme is identified and implemented the code will be used to model shock ignition experiments. The code (Odin) is being developed in the UK as part of a national collaboration.