York PhysSoc event
Since the advent of laser technology in the 1960s, scientists have endeavoured to use the laser as a tool to achieve the conditions required to produce net energy by nuclear fusion. Needless to say, this goal has still not been reached. Nevertheless, the physics of laser driven fusion is fascinating and the conditions achieved in its pursuit are amongst the most extreme to have ever been produced here on Earth: temperatures of tens of millions of degrees, and more than a thousand-fold compression of solid materials. I will discuss the history and development of inertial fusion and hopefully give the audience an understanding of how we can generate such extraordinary conditions using lasers.