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Magnetized Target Fusion: An Overview

Ronald C. Kirkpatrick, Irvin R. Lindemuth, Marjorie S. Ward

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 27 / Number 3 / May 1995 / Pages 201-214


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The magnetized target fusion (MTF) concept is explained, and the underlying principles are discussed. The necessity of creating a target plasma and the advantage of decoupling its creation from the implosion used to achieve fusion ignition are explained. The Sandia National Laboratories Φ-target experiments is one concrete example of the MTF concept, but other experiments have involved some elements of MTF. Lindl-Widner diagrams are used to elucidate the parameter space available to MTF and the physics of MTF ignition. Magnetized target fusion has both limitations and advantages relative to inertial confinement fusion. The chief advantage is that the driver for an MTF target can be orders of magnitude less powerful and intense than what is required for other inertial fusion approaches. A number of critical issues challenge the practical realization of MTF. Past experience, critical issues, and potential integral MTF experiments are discussed.

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