Petascale Simulation of Laser Plasma Interactions Relevant to Inertial Fusion Energy

PI Name: 
F.S Tsung
Institution: 
University of California, Los Angeles
Allocation Program: 
ALCC
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
40 Million
Year: 
2013
Research Domain: 
Physics

Fusion energy is a highly desirable source for clean energy, potentially producing large amounts of energy from a nearly unlimited supply of fuel without long-lived radioactive waste products. Inertial fusion energy (IFE) is one of the most attractive approaches to harness fusion energy. However, ignition, where the fuel burns in a self-sustained way, must be demonstrated first in the laboratory. In late 2012, the ignition campaign at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) ended without ignition in part due to excessive stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) from the laser plasma interactions. An understanding of laser plasma interactions is, therefore, essential for the success of IFE. Recent advances in hardware and code developments have enabled, for the first time, kinetic simulations of IFE-relevant laser plasma interactions in multiple dimensions. This project will address this critical challenge by supporting developments in IFE experiments through HPC simulations of laser plasma interactions relevant to IFE. The outcomes will significantly advance the understanding of laser plasma interactions relevant to inertial fusion energy.