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Photo of the Month - November 2013

LULI2000 / the proton-boron fusion experiment

A research team led by Christine Labaune at the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France were able to initiate fusion reactions between protons and boron-11 nuclei, which released alpha (helium) particles, but no harmful neutrons. The experimental setup of Labaune, LULI2000, uses a two-laser system. One laser creates a short-lived boron plasma, by heating boron atoms from a boron sample. The other laser is used to accelerate protons which then smash into the boron nuclei, which releases beryllium and helium nuclei. 

The first and second photo show the outside and inside of the experimental vessel - MILKA - in which the fusion reactions occured. The third photo shows the laser hall, in which both the nano- and picosecond lasers are amplified. A close up of the ampllifier chain is displayed in the forth photo. The last photo shows the the system's capacitors that power the laser amplifiers.

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Location Photo
Palaiseau, France
LULI, with permission of François Amiranoff

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