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Polarized Nuclei in a Simple Mirror Fusion Reactor

David A. Noever

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 27 / Number 1 / January 1995 / Pages 86-102


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The possibility of enhancing the ratio of output to input power Q in a simple mirror machine by polarizing deuterium-tritium (D-T) nuclei is evaluated. Taking the Livermore mirror reference design mirror ratio of 6.54, the expected sin2 ϑ angular distribution of fusion decay products reduces immediate losses of alpha particles to the loss cone by 7.6% and alpha-ion scattering losses by ∼50%. Based on these findings, alphaparticle confinement times for a polarized plasma should therefore be 1.11 times greater than for isotropic nuclei. Coupling this enhanced alpha-particle heating with the expected > 50% D-T reaction cross section, a corresponding power ratio for polarized nuclei, Qpolarized, is found to be 1.63 times greater than the classical unpolarized value Qclassical. The effects of this increase in Q are assessed for the simple mirror.

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