Lab Report

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The Lab Report is a weekly compendium of media reports on science and technology achievements at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Though the Laboratory reviews items for overall accuracy, the reporting organizations are responsible for the content in the links below.

Oct. 4, 2019

Exascale Day Logo

National Exascale Day will be celebrated annually on Oct. 18

Mark your calendars for Exascale Day

Cray, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Exascale Computing Project (ECP), and the DOE laboratories that will house the nation’s first three exascale supercomputers (Argonne, Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore) have established National Exascale Day as a registered holiday to be celebrated annually on Oct. 18 (10 to the 18th power, the same as exascale, of course).

Exascale is defined as a quintillion computations per second and Exascale Day celebrates the scientists and researchers who make breakthrough discoveries with the help of some of the fastest supercomputers in the world.

To celebrate, the founding organizations of Exascale Day — including Lawrence Livermore — will host a panel discussion via an online webcast on Friday, Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. Eastern time about how the advanced technology of the Exascale Era will change the face of computational science and the advances it will foster.

Goldstein on radio

National security was just one of the topics that Lab Director Bill Goldstein, left, discussed with Mission Daily podcast host Chad Grills.

Misison Daily Logo

Science and technology on a mission

Bill Goldstein always has been attracted to a challenge. From his days in high school striving to understand theoretical physics problems, to his current work as the director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Goldstein is a magnet for tough problems.

But the problems that he faces at LLNL today aren’t just theoretical. They are very real and account for the safety of the nation and of the world. LLNL isn’t just any old testing lab; it is one of three labs responsible for securing and maintaining the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

Goldstein recently sat down with Mission Daily podcast host Chad Grills to discuss challenges in national security as well as advances in high perfomance computing and basic science. 

Axis

A snapshot of atomistic simulation models that contain twin boundary defects. Those defects play an important role in determining strengthening or softening of nanocrystalline-nanotwinned metals.

Technology Org Logo

Metal with mettle

In a perfect world, engineers would like metals to be strong and electrically conducive without any defects.

But no metal is perfect. It loses strength due to synthetic defects, causing a softening of the material.

Lawrence Livermore scientists and collaborators have created a new class of metal material that keeps its strength and electroconductivity by overcoming the defects. The material could be used in electrical wiring as well as electronics.

The research breaks the existing tradeoff between strength and electrical conductivity and demonstrates the potential for creating interface-dominated material with unprecedented mechanical and physical properties.

Lattice

Scanning electron microscopy images of a classic octet lattice and topologically optimized, isotropic oblate and quasi-spherical octahedral lattice built with a projection micro-stereolithography 3D-printing technique.

Structurally sound

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have designed a new class of 3D-printed lattice structures that combine lightweight and high stiffness, despite breaking a rule previously thought to be required to exhibit such properties. One of the new structures additionally displays perfectly uniform response to forces in all directions.

As described in a paper published by Science Advances, an LLNL team co-led by engineer Seth Watts used topology optimization software that Watts wrote to create two unique unit cell designs composed of micro-architected trusses, one of which was designed to have isotropic (identical and omnidirectional) material properties. These new structures were then fabricated and tested and were found to outperform the octet truss, a standard geometric pattern for 3D-printed lattice structures.

Largest Camera Lens

LLNL engineer Vincent Riot (left), who has worked on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope for more than a decade and has been the full camera project manager since 2017, and LLNL optical engineer Justin Wolfe, the LSST camera optics subsystems manager, show off the main lens assembly.

Photo by Farrin Abbott/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
DIY Photography

Eye on the sky

Have you ever wondered what the largest lens in the world looks like? It belongs to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and its diameter is 5.1 feet. It will be paired with a massive three-ton camera to study the sky and take enormous 3.2-gigapixel images every 20 seconds.

The LSST is under construction in Northern Chile and it will be placed atop of a mountain at an 8,800-feet-high peak. Its optical assemblies are designed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers and built by Lab industrial partners.

As you can imagine, everything about this telescope is massive. Its key feature is certainly a set of three lenses: the aforementioned 5.1-feet-in-diameter lens, making it the world’s largest high-performance optical lens ever made; a smaller lens that is 3.9 feet in diameter; and another at 2.3 feet in diameter. It took more than five years to build this massive lens assembly.