Artist wins award for ‘Best Comic Design’

Oct. 17, 2019- 
Artist John Jett of the NIF & Photon Science Document Services Team at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory was honored with a special Adobe Government Creativity Award for creating an educational comic book explaining the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the types of careers that support the operation of the world’s largest and most energetic laser. Judges awarded the comic book with...

Lab scholar makes impact on new diagnostic

Sept. 17, 2019- 
When Peter Nyholm became a NIF&PS Summer Scholar, he was following family tradition. Both of his parents had careers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) —his father as an electrical engineer and his mother as a nurse. Of his five siblings, two work at LLNL and another was previously an intern. This summer, Nyholm’s wife also was an intern in the Data Science Summer Institute. “G...

NIF celebrates a decade of operations

Aug. 13, 2019- 
In the decade since Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) began operations, NIF has routinely heated and compressed matter to some of the most extreme temperatures and pressures ever obtained on Earth – temperatures of 100 million degrees and pressures 100 billion times that of the Earth’s atmosphere.  See event photos. Funded by the Department of...

Physicist Maria Gatu Johnson wins APS award

Aug. 6, 2019- 
Nuclear physicist Maria Gatu Johnson, who plays a key role in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and Discovery Science campaigns at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), was named winner of the Katherine E. Weimer Award recognizing outstanding plasma science research by a woman physicist in the early stages of her career. "I am honored and grateful that my efforts to do the best work I can...

Study reveals new structure of gold at extremes

July 30, 2019- 
Gold is an extremely important material for high-pressure experiments and is considered the "gold standard" for calculating pressure in static diamond anvil cell experiments. When compressed slowly at room temperature (on the order of seconds to minutes), gold prefers to be the face-centered cubic (fcc) structure at pressures up to three times the center of the Earth. However, researchers...

Three Lawrence Livermore scientists named senior members of the Optical Society

July 9, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists Félicie Albert, Eyal Feigenbaum and Bruce Warner have been named senior members of the Optical Society (OSA), an international organization for optics and photonics scientists, engineers, educators and business leaders. Senior membership status recognizes members with more than 10 years of professional experience in optics or an optics...

NIF tops Physics of Plasmas 'most cited'

July 2, 2019- 
Research authored by physicists in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility & Photon Science Directorate (NIF&PS) represented four of the prestigious Physics of Plasmas' top 10 list of "most cited papers" of 2018. The papers on the list have accumulated five or more citations, according to AIP (American Institute of Physics) Publishing. In particular, AIP noted...

Dynamic compression provides new insight into understanding and predicting crystal growth

June 4, 2019- 
Crystal growth is a crucial issue for fundamental science and wide applications. The growth morphology and speed are generally determined by an interplay between macroscopic thermodynamic driving forces and the microscopic kinetic process at crystal-liquid interface. While crystal growth is well understood at near-equilibrium growth conditions, the growth transition with diverse growth...

Making metal with the lightness of air

June 3, 2019- 
Gold, silver and copper are heavy metals, but LLNL scientists can now make them nearly as light as air — in a form so tiny it can ride on a mosquito’s back. The groundbreaking science, part of a joint NIF/Physical and Life Sciences (PLS) project supported by the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) Program, created these ultra-low density metal foams to give physicists better...

ARC experiments exceed expectations

May 17, 2019- 
The first proton-acceleration experiments using the National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) short-pulse laser have produced protons with energies about 10 times higher than previous experience would have predicted (see "A Powerful New Source of High-Energy Protons"). Beams of high-energy protons can be precisely targeted and are able to quickly heat...

Giant lasers crystallize water with shockwaves, revealing the atomic structure of superionic ice

May 8, 2019- 
Scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) used giant lasers to flash-freeze water into its exotic superionic phase and record X-ray diffraction patterns to identify its atomic structure for the very first time — all in just a few billionths of a second. The findings are reported today in Nature. In 1988, scientists first predicted that water would transition to an exotic...

Sandia's Line VISAR has roots in Livermore

April 10, 2019- 
A joint Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)/Sandia National Laboratories team has commissioned a Line Velocity Interferometer System for Any Reflector (Line VISAR) at Sandia’s Z Machine. Line VISAR is used to measure the velocities of shocks and surface motions when enormous pressures are applied to target materials in high-energy density science experiments. Such data inform...

LLNL's Virtual Beam Line++ now available

April 5, 2019- 
Physicists designing new laser systems and modeling laser performance at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) now have a powerful new tool in their hands with the Rigel release of Virtual Beam Line++ (VBL++). The current version of VBL, a java-based code, has been in use since 2000. VBL++ has a new architecture using the C++ code and best-in-class standards to enable high-resolution...

New method for better laser-material interaction

April 3, 2019- 
Using ultrashort laser pulses lasting a few picoseconds (trillionths of a second), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have discovered an efficient mechanism for laser ablation (material removal) that could help pave the way to the use of lower-energy, less costly lasers in many industrial laser processing applications. The new method, reported in a Journal of Applied...

Laser Institute honors safety officer Jamie King with Rockwell educational achievement award

April 1, 2019- 
The Laser Institute of America (LIA) has recognized Jamie King, certified laser safety officer (CLSO) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), with the R. James Rockwell Jr. Educational Achievement Award. The award was presented at the recent International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC), held in Kissimmee, Florida. The award, presented biennially since 2005, honors outstanding...

Bobbing shells key to future NIF targets

March 26, 2019- 
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) team of physicists and target engineers has reached an important goal with a new technique for electroplating copper and gold to create tiny, smoothly spherical inertial confinement fusion (ICF) target shells. The target designers engineered a method that electroplates a 1.5-millimeter plastic capsule as it bobs up and down on alternating...

NIF and Jupiter Laser Facility user groups meet to discuss recent experiments, new capabilities

March 20, 2019- 
The annual National Ignition Facility (NIF) and Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) User Group meeting brought together more than 180 researchers to learn about the capabilities, recent experiments and new experimental platforms of both Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) facilities. The attendees included 61 students and represented 31 institutions across six countries. In his welcome,...

NIF shines at laser fusion conference

March 13, 2019- 
Advances in deep-learning tools for predictive modeling at NIF and updates on high-power lasers used for fusion research around the world were among the dozens of topics presented at a recent Photonics West conference chaired by leaders in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility & Photon Science (NIF&PS) directorate. The High Power Lasers for Fusion Research V...

Tom Epperly: A software architect starts early

Feb. 13, 2019- 
For Tom Epperly, writing software is both a lifelong avocation and a hobby. So, working on a major redesign of NIF’s Virtual Beam Line (VBL) code is a dream come true. As the software architect of the VBL++ project, he is part of the team responsible for reimplementing the older Java-based VBL code into C++ so it can run on supercomputers. "The chance to be the software architect for the...

LLNL, universities form HED science alliance

Feb. 4, 2019- 
High-energy density (HED) science is foundational to the nationally important research conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) — yet few universities offer programs geared for the study of matter and energy under extreme conditions. And even fewer offer such courses for students attending minority-serving institutions. That’s one reason LLNL, Florida A&M University,...