J.-C. Gauthier, et al.
J. Phys. IV France 133 (2006) 775-778
Production of thermonuclear neutrons from deuterium-filled capsule implosion experiments driven by Z-Pinch dynamic hohlraums at Sandia National Laboratories' Z facilityR.J. Leeper1, C.L. Ruiz1, G.W. Cooper2, S.A. Slutz1, J.E. Bailey1, G.A. Chandler1, T.J. Nash1, T.A. Mehlhorn1, D.L. Fehl1, K. Peterson1, G.A. Rochau1, W.A. Varnum3, K.S. Bell1, D.T. Casey1, A.J. Nelson2, J. Franklin4 and L. Ziegler5
1 Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87185, USA
2 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA
3 Comforce, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110, USA
4 K-tech Corporation, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA
5 Bechtel-Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89131, USA
Deuterium-filled capsule implosion experiments that employ the dynamic hohlraum are presently being conducted on the Z facility at Sandia National Laboratories. This paper will address the evidence for thermonuclear neutron production in the initial series and subsequent series of experiments that have been conducted to date employing Be, plastic, and glass capsules. The novelty of this approach motivated using several techniques to determine that the neutrons were thermonuclear in origin. The diagnostic techniques employed consist of measuring the average neutron energy and yield isotropy in two directions that were separated by a polar angle of 102 degrees. Additional "null" experiments were also employed that used the addition of Xe gas to the deuterium gas fill to suppress fusion neutron yields from the capsules by an order of magnitude. Use of these techniques are of particular importance because alternative, nonthermonuclear neutron processes were previously found to exist in Z-pinch and dense plasma focus plasmas. Such processes typically involved the creation of directed energetic ions leading to the production of nonthermal, "ion beam" generated neutrons. If not properly diagnosed, neutrons produced by these nonthermal processes could be misinterpreted as thermonuclear in origin.
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