Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Inertial Confinement Fusion

What does Inertial Confinement Fusion have to do with Quantitative Finance?

Not Very Much. However it does have 1 thing in common, me. Prior to working in finance, I spent time working on helping to solve the Inertial Confinement Fusion problem. What is Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)? ICF is a technique to use LASER light or particle beams to compress fusion able fuel such as D-T. There are many issues with this concept. One of the most significant issues is the fact that in order to compress a fuel pellet to the number density required to achieve fusion, fluid instabilities arise which tend to disrupt the compression phase of the cycle. My thesis studied Numerical Modeling of the Rayleigh-Taylor and Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities. You can find an HTML version of the thesis at

ICF as a concept is very similar to the internal combustion engine. While I was working on my thesis, I drew a picture that showed the phases of ICF, verses the phases of the internal combustion engine.

Why am I putting this out now? I finished up my thesis in 1995, using latex209 (before the real latex; back in the day when you used .sty files instead of .cls)
Because some of the articles that I have been working on for are mathematically rigorous, I decided to dust off my latex skills, and write the articles using latex. In doing that I decided to see if I could get my thesis to compile in latex (it did) but I could not get htlatex to make my thesis into a web page. So I translated the latex209 code of my thesis to standard latex. Once I did that the htlatex worked pretty well (There were several places it should have put a br page break and didn't, also it did not size images properly.)

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