Three LLNL scientists honored as APS fellows

Oct. 19, 2021- 
Three Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicists have been selected as 2021 fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). The new fellows represent a selection of physics expertise, ranging from intense laser-matter interactions and inertial fusion energy science to leading the development of edge simulation models and codes and pioneering new regimes of warm dense matter...

Making it count: Rebuilding infrastructure at the Nuclear Counting Facility

Oct. 8, 2021- 
When Daniel Martin put the finishing touches on an autonomous vehicle robot, complete with an ultrasonic sensor to detect and evade obstacles, he knew he wanted to become an engineer. A high school student at the time, he was fascinated by the design and functionality of robots. Fast forward several years, and Martin is now a second-year electrical engineering Ph.D. student at the University...

LLNL researchers observe laser-driven tin ejecta microjet interactions

Oct. 7, 2021- 
The experimental observations of high-velocity particle-laden flow interactions has been sparse, given the difficulty of generating high-velocity flows of many particles. These observations play an important role in understanding a wide range of natural phenomena, ranging from planetary formation to cloud interactions. That is, until now. In experiments conducted at the Omega Laser...

Lab garners five technology commercialization grants

Oct. 1, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and engineers have posted another banner year securing major grants through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Technology Commercialization Fund (TCF). “I think the Laboratory did very well again, reflecting a variety of types and approaches to our research and development projects,” said Rich Rankin, the director of the Lab’s...

Lawrence Livermore researchers focus on fast flows in thermonuclear fusion

Sept. 24, 2021- 
Imagine having a balloon between both hands and trying to squeeze it with the same force on all sides so that it uniformly shrinks down. However, if you push on one side harder than the other the balloon won’t compress uniformly and will, in fact, move away from the hand that is pushing harder. The same thing happens when the drive pushing on an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) capsule...

LLNL explores laser beam shaping to improve metal 3D printing

Sept. 22, 2021- 
While laser-based 3D printing techniques have revolutionized the production of metal parts by greatly expanding design complexity, the laser beams traditionally used in metal printing have drawbacks that can lead to defects and poor mechanical performance. Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) are addressing the issue by exploring alternative shapes to the Gaussian...

Diagnostic capability allows scientists to create X-ray movies

Sept. 1, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists are working on a new diagnostic capability that will provide, for the first time, the ability to make X-ray radiographic movies. The first experiment testing the principle, dubbed the Bipolar Reset Experiment (BIRX), was conducted at LLNL’s Flash X-Ray (FXR) deep-penetration radiographic facility at Site 300. The team has been...

National Ignition Facility experiment puts researchers at threshold of fusion ignition

Aug. 18, 2021- 
On Aug. 8, 2021, an experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) made a significant step toward ignition, achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules (MJ). This advancement puts researchers at the threshold of fusion ignition, an important goal of the NIF, and opens access to a new experimental regime. The experiment was enabled by...

Researchers focus on how tantalum behaves at high pressure and temperature

Aug. 18, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have explored high-pressure behavior of shock-compressed tantalum at the Omega Laser Facility at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). The work showed tantalum did not follow the predicted phase changes at high pressure and instead maintained the body-centered cubic (BCC) phase until melt. The...

LLNL physicist Tammy Ma receives excellence in fusion engineering award

Aug. 3, 2021- 
The Fusion Power Associates (FPA) Board of Directors has selected Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) experimental physicist Tammy Ma as the recipient of its 2021 Excellence in Fusion Engineering Award. She will receive the award at the Fusion Power Associates 42nd annual meeting Dec. 15-16 in Washington, D.C. Click here for a complete list of previous recipients and...

3D hohlraum model assists in indirect-drive implosions at NIF

July 19, 2021- 
Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) have described a simple 3D model in hohlraums and capsules for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) implosions. The model will assist in delivering the required implosion symmetry on layered deuterium-tritium (DT) implosions for ignition.  The results of the work remove much of the...

Scientists develop a new geometry for a neutron source platform for NIF

July 8, 2021- 
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has added a new tool to its growing list of capabilities. A team of scientists has demonstrated a new geometry for a neutron source platform for NIF, called the inverted-corona platform, which does not rely on spherically symmetric laser irradiation. This new tool has significantly less...

How NIF inspired groundbreaking 3D metal-printing technology

July 7, 2021- 
A seminar at Stanford University, the decades-long quest for fusion energy and an innovative technique for protecting the National Ignition Facility's (NIF) optical components from laser damage were the inspiration for a new high-speed 3D manufacturing technology that’s about to enter the market. Developed by an industrial partnership between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)...

Scientists focus on cone targets to enhance temperature of electron beams

June 24, 2021- 
Intense short-pulse laser-driven production of bright high-energy sources, such as X-rays, neutrons and protons, has been shown to be an invaluable tool in the study of high energy density science. In an effort to address some of the most challenging applications, such as X-ray radiography of high areal density objects for industrial and national security applications, both the yield...

Scientists create a novel instrument to probe thermal states of extreme matter on Earth

June 23, 2021- 
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have collaborated with Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) to design a novel X-ray crystal spectrometer to provide high-resolution measurements of a challenging feature of high energy density (HED) matter produced by National Ignition Facility (NIF) experiments. The work is featured in a paper in the Review of Scientific...

Lawrence Livermore team designs semiconductor switch for next-generation communications

June 18, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) engineers have designed a new kind of laser-driven semiconductor switch that can theoretically achieve higher speeds at higher voltages than existing photoconductive devices. The development of such a device could enable next-generation satellite communication systems capable of transferring more data at a faster rate, and over longer distances...

Research highlights techniques for studying materials under extreme conditions

June 16, 2021- 
The properties of materials under extreme conditions are of key interest to a number of fields, including planetary geophysics, materials science and inertial confinement fusion (ICF). In geophysics, the equation of state of planetary materials such as hydrogen and iron under ultrahigh pressure and density will provide a better understanding of their formation and interior structure. I...

From NIF to Z: LLNL continues to collaborate with Sandia on technology transfer projects

June 8, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Sandia National Laboratories continue to collaborate on diagnostic advancements on the nation’s premier high-energy density (HED) facilities. Mark Bowers, magnetic direct drive diagnostics manager at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), said current projects include providing NIF’s X-ray streak camera, neutron Time-of-Flight (nToF)...

Smashing gold with finesse: Shockless compression experiments establish new pressure scales

June 3, 2021- 
To test the Standard Model of particle physics, scientists often collide particles using gigantic underground rings. In a similar fashion, high-pressure physicists compress materials to ever greater pressures to further test the quantum theory of condensed matter and challenge predictions made using the most powerful computers. Pressures exceeding 1 million atmospheres are capable of...

Research describes slow and fast light in plasma

June 1, 2021- 
Slow and fast light, or large changes in the group velocity of light, have been observed in a range of optical media, but the fine control over the refractive index necessary to induce an observable effect has not been achieved in a plasma. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Laboratory for Laser...