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Experimental Physicist

Mid-Senior Level | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 08/15/2023

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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 committed to a diverse and equitable workforce with an inclusive culture that values and celebrates the diversity of our people, talents, ideas, experiences, and perspectives. This is important for continued success of the Laboratory’s mission.

Pay Range

$153,210 - $196,788 Annually for the SES.3 level
$183,840 - $236,112 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 an Experimental Physicist to independently execute experiments and develop new experimental methods in support of dynamic compression research on gas guns and related platforms. You will plan, design, execute, and oversee experiments at the intersection of shock physics, dynamic compression, hydrodynamics, and x-ray imaging. You will travel as necessary to conduct experiments at off-site facilities, collaborate with colleagues, and interact with sponsors and customers. This position resides within the Materials Physics at Extremes Group within the Condensed Matter Physics Section of the Physics Division.

You will 

  • Research, plan, design, execute, and analyze gas gun physics experiments on existing gas gun facilities (e.g., HEAF, DCS, and JASPER), Kolsky bars, and pulsed power facilities (e.g., Z)  to understand the thermomechanical response of dynamically-compressed materials
  • Develop and apply analytical tools, models, and instruments to varied data sets from dynamic experiments that may include photonic doppler velocimetry (PDV), two-dimensional VISAR, optical and near-IR spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, x-ray radiography, or optical imaging.
  • Document and publish research results in peer-reviewed scientific or technical journals and present results at external conferences, seminars, and/or technical meetings.
  • Engage with complementary research efforts and interact with a broad spectrum of scientists internal and external to the Laboratory.
  • Perform all assignments in accordance with ES&H, security, and business practice requirements and policies.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities, at the SES.4 level

  • Develop strategic thrusts and initiatives to address emerging and anticipated mission needs
  • Serve as a subject matter expert for shock physics, materials under extreme conditions, and high energy density science, and research at major facilities


  • Ability to secure and maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security clearance, which requires U.S. Citizenship.
  • PhD in Hydrodynamics, Shock Physics, Condensed Matter or related field or discipline, or equivalent combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Significant experience and advanced knowledge independently designing, executing, and analyzing complex experiments in the areas of shock physics, equations of state, constitutive material properties, or hydrodynamics.
  • Significant experience and advanced knowledge developing analysis methods supporting hydrodynamic wave profile experiments.
  • Experience with dynamic velocimetry or imaging techniques.
  • Advanced analytical skills necessary to solve complex problems and make decisions.
  • Experience working independently, as well as in a team, with minimal direction.
  • Advanced verbal and written communication skills necessary to effectively collaborate in a team environment and present and explain technical information and provide advice to management.
  • Ability to travel as needed.

Additional qualifications at the SES.4 level

  • Highly advanced knowledge and subject matter expertise in shock physics, material behavior at high pressure and high energy density,
  • Substantial experience leading interdisciplinary teams, especially those developing new experimental and analytical platforms or diagnostics for dynamic studies
  • Substantial experience developing and using hydrodynamic simulations to design and interpret high pressure science experiments
  • Significant experience developing and leading new research projects
  • Expert ability to interact with program leads and sponsors as trusted Subject Matter Expert and key contributor

Qualifications We Desire

  • Experience designing, executing, and analyzing experiments on dynamic compression platforms, especially at major facilities
  • Experience with pyrometry, x-ray and optical imaging, and related techniques.
  • Experience handling hazardous materials and designing experiments around constraints therein.
  • Experience with heterogenous materials

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Position Information

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

Why Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?

Security Clearance

This position requires a Department of Energy (DOE) Q-level clearance.  If you are selected, we will initiate a Federal background investigation to determine if you meet eligibility requirements for access to classified information or matter. Also, all L or Q cleared employees are subject to random drug testing.  Q-level clearance requires U.S. citizenship. 

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.

How to identify fake job advertisements

Please be aware of recruitment scams where people or entities are misusing the name of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to post fake job advertisements. LLNL never extends an offer without a personal interview and will never charge a fee for joining our company. All current job openings are displayed on the Career Page under “Find Your Job” of our website. If you have encountered a job posting or have been approached with a job offer that you suspect may be fraudulent, we strongly recommend you do not respond.

To learn more about recruitment scams:

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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