Skip to Main Content
An experimental scheme is proposed which seems to satisfy all the requirements for use of a high energy electron beam to initiate a thermonuclear plasma. One-dimensional expansion is utilized to obtain confinement times longer than the pulse length of the electron beams. A magnetic field is used to limit the radial heat conductivity, and this magnetic field also serves as a guiding field for the electron beams when they are in the vicinity of the target. Two opposing electron beams are employed and the forces produced by these counterstreaming current in the overlap region of the beams are sufficient to stop the beams within the target. Estimates made of all the critical factors indicate that beams achievable with current technology can be focused and stopped in T-D target 6 cm long with densities as low as 1021 cm-3. With a containing magnetic field of 750 kilogauss the containment time of the plasma is sufficiently long so that beam pulse lengths up to 8×10-9 sec can be used. Furthermore a positive fusion energy yield relative to the energy delivered to the target is predicted.