Advanced inertial confinement fusion schemes (plasma strand project)

Supervisor: Dr John Pasley (University of York)

The inertial confinement approach to fusion involves assembling small quantities of deuterium-tritium fuel to high densities and temperatures such that thermonuclear ignition and burning can take place. In recent years our group has led the way in developing several innovative techniques in this area [1-3]. This project will continue and expand upon our recent work in this area. We have access to a range of advanced simulation codes alongside the necessary computational resources to enable one to effectively investigate a wide range of different phenomena. 

During the course of your studies you will be encouraged to participate in workshops, conferences and summer schools. You will be working as part of a group which publishes regularly, and you will be actively supported in developing your scientific writing and publishing skills. If you have any particular interests that you wish to explore, you will be encouraged and supported in doing this. This project description is in no way intended to be prescriptive, and you will be supported in finding your own niche. You will also be supported in continuing your scientific adventures on completion of your studies – the most recent leavers from our group have gone on to postdoctoral research positions at Imperial College London, the University of California, the University of Rochester, and the University of Bordeaux.

[1] “Controlling X-Ray Flux in Hohlraums Using Burn-through Barriers”, W. Trickey, J. Owen, C. Ridgers, and J. Pasley, Physics of Plasmas. 27, 103301, 2020

[2] “Ignition criteria for x-ray fast ignition inertial confinement fusion”, J. G. Lee,  A.P.L. Robinson, and J. Pasley, Physics of Plasmas. 27, 042711, 2020

[3] “Producing shock-ignition-like pressures by indirect drive” W. Trickey and J. Pasley, Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 61, 10, 2019

It is anticipated that the project will mainly be based in York, though it is likely that one or two (~ 2-6 weeks) stays outside of York will occur in a typical year. I am however always keen to support my students if they wish to explore more widely, and in the past few years I have successfully organised opportunities for students to stay for extended periods in India, Greece, France and the U.S.

This project is offered by University of York. For further information please contact Dr John Pasley  (

This project may be compatible with part time study, please contact the project supervisors if you are interested in exploring this.