Investigation of beam-plasma instabilities utilising numerical and experimental methods

Martin King, Sandra L McConville , Kevin Ronald, David C Speirs , Ross Bryson, Karen Gillespie, Alan D R Phelps , Robert Bingham, Adrian W Cross , Colin G Whyte , Robert A Cairns, Irena Vorgul, Raoul Trines

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Non-thermal electron distributions within a plasma can result in a range of instabilities that can significantly influence the dynamics of the system. For the present paper, it is the effect of the well known two-stream instability in fast-ignition inertial confinement fusion that is of primary interest. This method of fusion utilises a high power laser pulse to compress a deuterium-tritium fuel pellet to extremely high density and then uses a second laser pulse to accelerate an electron beam into the compressed pellet. It is this electron beam that heats and ignites the fuel pellet [1]. As the electron beam interacts with the deuterium-tritium plasma, the two-stream instability can occur. It has been proposed that Langmuir turbulence stimulated by the two-stream instability may decay into ion-acoustic waves that may facilitate improved ion heating [2]. To investigate this proposed behaviour, a low-temperature, lowdensity laboratory experiment is planned with numerical simulations currently underway to provide the necessary parameters of the system. Results shall be reported from these numerical simulations, showing the growth rate of the instability with realistic experimental parameters and comparing this with predictions from analytical theory.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication38th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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