A warm look at water's structure

May 14, 2018- 
Boiling water traditionally involves adding energy to molecules by conduction, convection or thermal radiation. But Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and collaborators have figured out a way using an X-ray Free Electron Laser (XFEL) to heat water to temperatures above 100,000 K (179,540 degrees Fahrenheit) and pressures above 1Mbar (1 million times Earth’s atmospheric...

Experiments shed new light on supernovae

May 9, 2018- 
Experiments on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) are providing scientists with new insights into the turbulent after-effects of a supernova explosion. The studies also could inform efforts to achieve self-sustaining nuclear fusion on NIF and other high-energy laser systems. When stars of a certain mass collapse and then violently explode, material...

Record experiments probe exoplanetary cores

April 25, 2018- 
Using high-powered laser beams, iron-silicon alloys have been compressed to unprecedented pressures corresponding to the center of a three-Earth-mass extrasolar planet. The resulting measurements of crystal structure and density provide new insights into the nature of the deep interiors of the large, Earth-like planets that have been discovered throughout our galaxy.   The research,...

Ramp compression of iron provides insight into core conditions of large rocky exoplanets

April 16, 2018- 
In a paper published today by Nature Astronomy, a team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Rochester have provided the first experimentally based mass-radius relationship for a hypothetical pure iron planet at super-Earth core conditions. This discovery can be used to evaluate plausible...

A powerful new source of high-energy protons

April 12, 2018- 
Nearly 20 years ago, researchers conducting experiments on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Nova Petawatt laser system -- the world’s first quadrillion-watt laser -- discovered that when the system’s intense short-pulse laser beams struck a thin foil target, an unexpected torrent of high-energy electrons and protons streamed off the back of the target. Earlier this month, an...

Tour guides put NIF's best foot forward

April 10, 2018- 
In 2017, after more than eight years of operation, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) reached its epic 2,000th shot. Over that time, as the shot rate steadily climbed, other important numbers also have risen dramatically. By the end of 2017, the total number of people exposed first-hand to NIF’s world-class technology and achievements by...

First experimental evidence for superionic ice

Feb. 5, 2018- 
Among the many discoveries on matter at high pressure that garnered him the Nobel Prize in 1946, scientist Percy Bridgman discovered five different crystalline forms of water ice, ushering in more than 100 years of research into how ice behaves under extreme conditions. One of the most intriguing properties of water is that it may become superionic when heated to several thousand degrees at...

Former LLNL physicist honored by Uppsala University for research with intense X-ray pulses

Jan. 18, 2018- 
Henry Chapman, who worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) from 1996 to 2007, will be presented on Jan. 26 with an honorary doctorate by Sweden's Uppsala University for his work on developing techniques for imaging and crystallography with intense X-ray pulses. In addition to lecturing as a professor of physics at Hamburg University, Chapman is the division director at the...

Lab physicist wins Lifetime Achievement award

Jan. 4, 2018- 
Charles Orth, who has served as a physicist with Lawrence Livermore NationaI Laboratory (LLNL) for more than 40 years, was presented with the 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by the publication Marquis Who’s Who. Marquis Who’s Who is a directory of short biographies of notable figures, and the publication bestows their Lifetime Achievement Award on a biographee who has...

Lawrence Livermore-developed petawatt laser system installed at ELI Beamlines

Dec. 13, 2017- 
The L3-HAPLS advanced petawatt laser system was installed last week at the ELI Beamlines Research Center in Dolní Břežany, Czech Republic. L3-HAPLS -- the world’s most advanced and highest average power, diode-pumped petawatt laser system -- was designed, developed and constructed in only three years by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) NIF and Photon Science (NIF&PS)...

Deformation experiments reveal insight into material changes during shock compression

Oct. 26, 2017- 
For the first time, scientists have reported in-situ diffraction experiments measuring deformation twinning at the lattice level during shock compression. The results were recently published in Nature by a team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and collaborators from the University of Oxford, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of York and SLAC National...

Haefner elected fellow of Optical Society

Oct. 26, 2017- 
Constantin Haefner, program director for Advanced Photon Technology (APT) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been elected a fellow of The Optical Society of America (OSA). Haefner was recognized for "pioneering next-generation, high-average-power petawatt laser systems enabling a new arena of applications and sustained advancement of state-of-the art technologies in large-scale,...

Lab researcher elected fellow of Optical Society

Oct. 18, 2017- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researcher John Heebner has been elected a fellow of The Optical Society of America (OSA). Heebner was cited for his "numerous innovations, achievements and technical leadership in high-energy laser systems and integrated optics including nonlinear optical microresonators and ultrafast light deflectors." Heebner leads the Ultrafast Optical and...

Plasma optic combines lasers into superbeam

Oct. 16, 2017- 
Since its introduction in the 1977 film "Star Wars," the Death Star has remained one of science fiction’s most iconic figures. The image of Alderaan’s destruction at the hands of the Death Star’s superlaser is burned into the memory of millions of fans.   Scientists and laser experts have maintained that this superbeam could never work due to the properties of lasers -- theory says that...

Lab physicist Félicie Albert receives 2017 Edouard Fabre Prize for laser contributions

Oct. 6, 2017- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Félicie Albert was awarded the 2017 Edouard Fabre Prize for her contributions to the physics of laser-driven inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and laser-produced plasmas. Albert, an experimental plasma physicist at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), shares this year’s award with collaborator Alexis Casner, who is a research director of the French...

Perfecting the spider's art to support NIF targets

Aug. 28, 2017- 
Materials scientist Xavier Lepró can’t grow his "spider webs" fast enough to swing from skyscrapers like Spiderman, but he can best another web-maker, Mother Nature, when it comes to consistency. Lepró helped pioneer the spinning of spider-silk-like yarns for use in suspending target capsules inside NIF hohlraums. These yarns are even stronger than the silks spun by the technology’s...

Scientists create 'diamond rain' that forms in the interior of icy giant planets like Neptune

Aug. 22, 2017- 
In an experiment designed to mimic the conditions deep inside the icy giant planets of our solar system, scientists observed "diamond rain" for the first time as it formed in high-pressure conditions. Extremely high pressure squeezes hydrogen and carbon found in the interior of these planets to form solid diamonds that sink slowly down further into the interior.   The glittering...

NIF's night Owls: Where the wild things are

Aug. 18, 2017- 
From sunset to sunrise, while others slumber, the "Owls" of the National Ignition Facility nurture the world’s most energetic laser through some of its most productive hours. On this particular summer night, Shot Director Steve Weaver is the Owl Shift leader of 16 scientists, engineers and technicians who keep the massive physics experiment humming, working to create temperatures of up to...

Scientists probe the conditions of stellar interiors to measure nuclear reactions

Aug. 7, 2017- 
Most of the nuclear reactions that drive the nucleosynthesis of the elements in our universe occur in very extreme stellar plasma conditions. This intense environment found in the deep interiors of stars has made it nearly impossible for scientists to perform nuclear measurements in these conditions -- until now. In a unique cross-disciplinary collaboration between the fields of plasma...

Summer scholar purifies water with fibers

July 26, 2017- 
It all started for Mariana Lanzarini-Lopes as an undergraduate, cracking coconuts in the West Indies, seeing the effects of dysentery while working in a hospital in Africa and engineering a solar-powered refrigerator to keep medicine safe in Indian villages. This was the path that led the doctoral student in environmental engineering to join the fight to solve one of the planet’s greatest...