Student Co-author

HMC Undergraduate

Document Type



Mathematics (HMC), Physics (HMC)

Publication Date



In the last 10 years, laser-driven fusion experiments performed on atomic clusters of deuterium have shown a surprisingly high neutron yield per joule of input laser energy. Results indicate that the optimal cluster size for maximizing fusion events should be in the 0.01–μm diameter range, but an appropriate source of droplets of this size does not exist. In an attempt to meet this need, we use ultrasonic atomization to generate micron-scale droplet aerosols of high average density, and we have developed and refined a reliable droplet sizing technique based on Mie scattering. Harmonic excitation of the fluid in the MHz range yields an aerosol of droplets with diameters of a few microns. The droplet diameter distribution is well-peaked and the relationship between average droplet size and forcing frequency follows an inviscid scaling law, predictable by dimensional analysis and consistent with the linear theory for Faraday excitation of an infinitely deep fluid.


Rights Information

© 2004 American Institute of Physics