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Laser-Matter Research-Experimental Physicist, HEDT

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 03/16/2023

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Company Description

Join us and make YOUR mark on the World!

Are you interested in joining some of the brightest talent in the world to strengthen the United States’ security? Come join Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) where our employees apply their expertise to create solutions for BIG ideas that make our world a better place.

We are looking for individuals that demonstrate an understanding of working in partnership with team peers, who engage, advocate, and contribute to building an inclusive culture, and provide expertise to solve challenging problems.

Pay Range

$148,650- $200,328 annually for the SES.3 level
$178,410- $240,384 annually for the SES.4 level

Please note that the pay range information is a general guideline only. Many factors are taken into consideration when setting starting pay including education, experience, the external labor market, and internal equity.

Job Description

We have an opening for a Laser Matter Research-Experimental Physicist, HEDT to independently execute experiments and/or to develop instrumentation in support of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and OMEGA laser-matter research. This work will take place within the National Ignition Facility & Photon Science (NIF&PS) Directorate, home to the world’s most energetic laser.  It is an exciting time to join the team that achieved fusion ignition in December 2022, a historic moment in science, opening up new physics regimes and setting the stage for new fusion energy possibilities.

You will plan, design, execute and oversee experiments in the fields of laser-plasma interactions, hydrodynamics, radiation transport, implosion physics, material strength and nuclear physics. This position is in the High Energy Density (HED) Scientific & Technology (S&T) Program within the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science (NIF & PS) Principal Associate Directorate (PAD).

This position will be filled at either level based on knowledge and related experience as assessed by the hiring team. Additional job responsibilities (outlined below) will be assigned if hired at the higher level.

You will

  • Plan, design, execute and analyze complex laser and x-ray driven physics experiments on existing Laser Facilities (NIF and Omega) working with factors that may not be well defined.
  • Develop nuclear, x-ray or optical diagnostics as needed, utilizing advanced knowledge.
  • Craft complex analytical models and using them to independently interpret experimental results.
  • Collaborate with an interdisciplinary team in the development of innovative methods to support the NIF and Omega projects.
  • Author scientific reports and providing oral presentations for internal and external LLNL scientists.
  • Publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals, and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings.
  • Perform other duties are assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Establish objectives for, and oversee experiments in, the fields of highly complex laser-plasma interactions, hydrodynamics, radiation transport, implosion physics, and material strength or nuclear physics.
  • Serve as subject matter expert in identified areas, using highly advanced knowledge to interact with mid-level and senior management, while leading working groups.
  • Provide direction to junior scientists and technical personnel.


  • PhD in plasma physics, hydrodynamics, shock physics, spectroscopy, nuclear physics, condensed matter or related field or discipline, or equivalent combination of education and previous relevant experience.
  • Advanced scientific knowledge and significant experience independently designing, executing, and analyzing complex experiments in the areas of laser-plasma interactions, hydrodynamics, radiation transport, implosion physics, material strength or nuclear physics.
  • Significant knowledge and advanced experience developing complex diagnostics, image processing, and data analysis.
  • Advanced analytical skills necessary to solve complex problems and make decisions.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment, present and explain technical information, author technical and scientific reports, publications, and invited papers, and provide advice to management.
  • Experience working independently, as well as in a team, with minimal direction in a driven environment.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Expert knowledge and substantial experience designing, executing, and analyzing highly complex experiments in laser and x-ray driven physics.
  • Expert knowledge and substantial experience developing new ideas or modifying approaches that may require in-depth analysis of intangible factors.
  • Substantial experience overseeing the experimental activities of junior scientists and technical personnel.

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience designing, executing, and analyzing experiments in the field of plasma and atomic physics with knowledge of plasma characterization techniques and instrumentation.
  • Experience with x-ray sources, time-resolved optical and x-ray photon detection techniques, CCDs, imaging and spectroscopy.
  • Experience with spectrum and image analysis using numerical processing.

Additional Information


Position Information

This is a Career Indefinite position, open to Lab employees and external candidates.

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

None required.  However, if your assignment is longer than 179 days cumulatively within a calendar year, you must go through the Personal Identity Verification process.  This process includes completing an online background investigation form and receiving approval of the background check.  (This process does not apply to foreign nationals.) 

Pre-Employment Drug Test

External applicant(s) selected for this position must pass a post-offer, pre-employment drug test. This includes testing for use of marijuana as Federal Law applies to us as a Federal Contractor.

Pre-Placement Medical Exam

A job related pre-placement medical examination may be required.

Equal Employment Opportunity

We are an equal opportunity employer that is committed to providing all with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, marital status, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, medical condition, pregnancy, protected veteran status, age, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.

We invite you to review the Equal Employment Opportunity posters which include EEO is the Law and Pay Transparency Nondiscrimination Provision.

Reasonable Accommodation

Our goal is to create an accessible and inclusive experience for all candidates applying and interviewing at the Laboratory.  If you need a reasonable accommodation during the application or the recruiting process, please use our online form to submit a request. 

California Privacy Notice

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) grants privacy rights to all California residents. The law also entitles job applicants, employees, and non-employee workers to be notified of what personal information LLNL collects and for what purpose. The Employee Privacy Notice can be accessed here.

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