The 4th International Workshop on Proton-Boron Fusion will take place in the Rome area, from September 30th to October 3rd, 2024.
The conventional route to nuclear fusion for power generation is based on the reaction between deuterium and tritium nuclei, which yields one alpha particle and one neutron. These neutrons pose classical challenges in handling and managing activated materials in the vacuum vessel.
The fusion reaction between a proton and a boron nuclei produces instead three alpha particles and no neutron, and can thus be a solution to this problem. Moreover, the reactants are very abundant in nature and are stable, unlike T in DT reaction.
Unfortunately, the ignition temperature of p-11B is much higher than DT, and this poses severe limits on the exploitation of this reaction in thermonuclear schemes for energy production. Nevertheless, during the last fifteen years a great progress has been achieved in the experimental alpha-particle yield in laser-triggered p-11B experiments. The fast improvement of performances for the new high-power and high-energy lasers requires today thourough theoretical and experimental studies on effective high-yield schemes of laser-driven proton-boron fusion. This, on one side, to investigate potential advanced ignition schemes and, on the other side, for the creation of localized sources of alpha particles for applications, such as for medical treatments.
This Workshop is meant as a moment of information on the new findings about laser-triggered p-11B fusion reactions and of discussions on today technological challenges and future steps in this field, also for the identification of potential paths for funding.