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Neutron sources have many uses: from probing the interior of a material to locating underground mineral resources. Laser-driven fusion reactions are one way to produce neutrons, but current techniques are either inefficient or unreliable. Jie Liu of the Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics in China and colleagues have developed a robust new scheme that uses lasers to induce fusion reactions in a capsule containing heavy hydrogen fuel. In preliminary tests, this method produced around a billion neutrons per laser shot, which is a factor of 100 better than similar methods.

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Category: Science