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Experimental Physicist

Associate | Full-time
Physical Life Sciences | livermore, CA | 08/29/2023

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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

$127,680 - $163,968 Annually for the SES.2 level
$153,210 - $196,788 Annually for the SES.3 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 multiple openings for Experimental Physicists.  You will explore means to assess nuclear explosive performance without nuclear testing; weapons physics studies; the development of render safe technologies for counter-proliferation; the design and testing of Advanced Conventional Weapons. Experimental research is conducted at the Site 300 hydro facilities, the Nevada Test site, the High Explosives Application Facility (HEAF), NIF, and at other national facilities. These positions are located in the Design Physics Division within the Strategic Deterrence Principal Directorate.

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

  • Conduct experimental research in one or more of the following areas: assess nuclear explosive performance without nuclear testing; weapons physics studies; high-energy density plasma research; the development of render safe technologies for counter-proliferation; and/or the design of Advanced Conventional Weapons.
  • Develop and apply state-of-the-art experimental physics techniques to laboratory and field research. Areas of interest should include, flash x-ray radiography, high-speed photographic and optical measurements, hydrodynamics, gas gun, pulsed power and detonation physics experiments, and instrument design and development.
  • Learn and run existing analysis codes to plan experiments and incorporate experimental data.
  • Contribute to fulfilling project objectives as a fully functioning team member.
  • Present and disseminate research results in scientific conferences and peer-reviewed publications, in open and classified environments.  Responsibilities may also include interacting with external stakeholders, both at NNSA and across the broader interagency, via offsite assignments.
  • Promote and support plans to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the program.
  • Travel minimally or substantially based on needs of projects.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Additional job responsibilities at the SES.3 level

  • Independently develop and/or provide in depth analysis of physics capabilities in support of nuclear weapon simulations using advanced simulation tools where complex problems may not be well defined.
  • Lead projects requiring careful planning and execution in concert with effective teamwork.


  • Ability to maintain a U.S. DOE Q-level security which requires U.S. citizenship.
  • PhD in physics, engineering or a related field or equivalent combination of education and related experience.
  • Experience conducting applied physics research in one or more of the following fields:  plasma physics, radiation transport, atomic physics, nuclear physics, and hydrodynamics.
  • Experience with and understanding of optics and lasers.
  • Experience with scientific data analysis.
  • Experience developing innovative solutions to complex analytical problems.
  • Demonstrated effective analytical and conceptual skills and creativity.
  • Experience working effectively independently and in a multi-disciplinary, team-research environment to achieve multi-year goals.
  • Demonstrated ability/commitment to valuing diversity, equity, and inclusion principles in the workplace.
  • Demonstrated effective verbal, and written communication skills necessary to author technical and scientific reports, publications, invited papers, and to deliver scientific presentations.

Additional qualifications at the SES.3 level

  • Advanced knowledge of physics, mathematics, mechanical, aerospace or nuclear engineering or a related field.
  • Experience leading and mentoring as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrated record of completing and/or leading top quality research in relevant areas of physics and engineering.

Additional Information



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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