Abstract: The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the world's largest and most energetic laser system. The 1.8 MJ of energy in NIF's 192 laser beams is designed to create very extreme states of matter ‐ temperatures more than 100 million Kand pressures more than 200 billion atmospheres ‐conditions emulating those found in the interiors of stars and planets. One of the main NIF campaigns is focused on demonstrating thermonuclear burn in the laboratory by laser inertial fusion. Rapid progress is being made, with recent experiments demonstrating fuel gains ‐2 (two times more fusion energy generated than delivered to the fuel) and significant alpha heating. Work continues toward the goal of full ignition, and achieving this will be a major step towards demonstrating the feasibility of laser‐based fusion as a source of abundant, carbon‐free energy. We will provide an update on the progress and challenges toward controlled laboratory nuclear fusion.
Bio: Dr. Tammy Ma is an experimental plasma physicist in inertial confinement
fusion (ICF) and high energy density physics at the National Ignition Facility (NIF)
at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in Livermore, California.
She graduated from Caltech in 2005 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, then
received her M.S. in 2008 and Ph.D. in 2010 both from the University of
California, San Diego. Tammy subsequently completed a postdoc at LLNL before
transitioning to a staff scientist in 2012, where she now leads a number of the
fusion experiments at the NIF and currently heads the X‐Ray Analysis Group for
the ICF program. She has authored or co‐authored over 140 refereed journal
publications and is strongly committed to education and scientific outreach.
Tammy was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Science
and Engineering (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States
government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their
independent research careers; as well as the 2016 Stix Award for Outstanding
Early Career Contributions to Plasma Research from the DPP for her work in
quantifying hydrodynamic instability mix in ICF implosions and for contributions
to experiments demonstration fusion fuel gains exceeding unity; and is a 2018
recipient of the Department of Energy Early Career Award.