Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's top 10 stories of 2013

(Download Image) A sampling of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's scientific and technical achievement for national security, energy, the environment and basic science for 2013.
In 2013, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory continued six decades of scientific and technical achievement for national security, energy, the environment and basic science.

Livermore technological innovation in such areas as high performance computing, micro-technology and energy also contribute to the nation's global economic competitiveness and quality of life.

Because it is difficult to know the long-term impact of recent science and technology development, the following S&T advances are not listed in order of importance. These stories represent only a sampling of the S&T advances highlighted in press reports during the calendar year.


  1. The National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world's largest and most energetic laser, achieves record fusion neutron yields.Read more  Read more
  2. Livermore scientists are involved in two international efforts that led to Nobel Prizes: the discovery of the elusive Higgs boson at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland that led to the Nobel Prize for Physics being awarded for the prediction of the particle's existence; and the work of the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that was recognized by the Nobel Peace Prize.Read more   Read more
  3. The artificial retina, which LLNL helped develop, receives FDA approval and is awarded "invention of the year" by Time Magazine and Popular Science. The retinal prosthesis has the potential to restore sight to millions of people suffering from eye diseases. Read more
  4. Livermore continues its global leadership in the development of high performance computing technology and its application to complex scientific problems in national security, climate science, bioscience and big data. One of the world's fastest supercomputers,Sequoia: set a simulation speed record; topped the Graph 500; and ran a simulation that earned a Gordon Bell PrizeRead more   Read more  Read more  Read more  Read more  Read more
  5. A Livermore team successfully leads an important test of a conventional precision warhead for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The project is seen by the DoD as critical to the country's ability to defend its interests with precision weapons at hypersonic speed.Read more
  6. Livermore is selected to build an advanced laser system in the Czech Republic, as part of the European Union's Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI). The $45M project will deliver a petawatt laser operating at 3 Hz, with the capability to achieve 10 Hz repetition rates.Read more
  7. Researchers at Livermore help make important discoveries in space and planetary sciences, including solving the riddle of black hole spin using measurements taken by the Nuclear Spectroscopi Telescope Array (NuSTAR). LLNL was involved in both the design and testing of NuSTAR's X-ray optics.Read more  Read more   Read more   Read more
  8. Livermore researchers continue to play an important role in the study of climate change, notably identifying a causal connection between human activities and changes in global precipitation patterns.Read more
  9. Using data from nuclear testing in the 1950s and '60s, LLNL scientists discover that, in contrast to long-held assumptions, the brain makes new neurons into adulthood. Read more
  10. The Laboratory captures five R&D 100 awards, so-called "Oscars of invention," for technologies ranging from improved electron microscope resolution and new materials for aerosol experiments to an integrated suite of supercomputer "miniapps" and improved high-power fiber lasers. Read more

Honorable mentions

  • A newly discovered meteor mineral is named for LLNL cosmochemist Ian Hutcheon --Hutcheonit e.Read more
  • Livermorium goes down in the history books -- this became official in 2012 but the celebration in the U.S. with Russian collaborators was held in 2013.Read more
  • Retired Livermore engineer Nick Williams takes top honors in the written category of the Flame Challenge science contest run by Alan Alda with his explanation of "what is time?" Read more