Unexamined lunar rocks indicate early bombardment

Oct. 16, 2019- 
A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists has challenged the long-standing theory that the moon experienced a period of intense meteorite bombardment about 3.8 billion years ago, when the first forms of life appeared on Earth.  This theory is known as the Late Heavy Bombardment and is thought to have resulted from disturbance of the asteroid belt due to the outward...

Six Lawrence Livermore researchers named 2019 fellows of the American Physical Society

Oct. 2, 2019- 
Six Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have been selected as 2019 fellows of the American Physical Society (APS). The new fellows represent a selection of physics expertise, ranging from computational physics and shock compression of condensed matter to instrument and measurement science. APS fellowships are awarded after extensive review and are considered a distinct...

Lab's space program is on the rise

Oct. 1, 2019- 
Nascent security challenges, novel scientific discoveries and new technology development opportunities are all part of outer space and in the focus of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Space Science and Security Program (SSSP). The national security community now refers to space as a “warfighting domain.” As such, it is both integral to the U.S. defense posture and...

New class of metal materials is its strong suit

Sept. 30, 2019- 
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 National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and collaborators have created a new class of metal material that keeps its strength and electroconductivity by...

Use of nanopores could lead to cleaner water

Sept. 26, 2019- 
Not all nanopores are created equal. For starters, their diameters vary between 1 and 10 nanometers (nm). The smallest of these nanopores, called Single Digit Nanopores (SDNs), have diameters of less than 10 nm and only recently have been used in experiments for precision transport measurements. A team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and colleagues from seven...

Climate ensembles help to identify detection time of human-caused climate signals

Sept. 24, 2019- 
By comparing observations to large ensembles of climate model simulations, scientists can now better isolate when human-caused climate change was first identifiable in observations. Large Initial Condition Ensembles (LEs) are simulations of climate change performed with a single climate model. An LE typically has between 30 and 100 individual “members” in order to probe the range of natural...

Study on stability of highly energetic materials

Sept. 13, 2019- 
Understanding the physical and chemical characteristics of energetic materials under extreme conditions is crucial for their safe and efficient use. High-pressure phase transitions in such materials can cause significant changes in their initiation properties and detonation performance necessitating detailed structural studies. The high-pressure structural evolution of CL-20 is of particular...

World's largest optical lens shipped to SLAC

Sept. 12, 2019- 
When the world’s newest telescope starts imaging the southern sky in 2023, it will take photos using optical assemblies designed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers and built by Lab industrial partners. A key feature of the camera’s optical assemblies for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), under construction in northern Chile, will be its three lenses, one...

Going small can help determine where nuclear material came from and how it was made

Aug. 29, 2019- 
Until recently, the analysis and identification of nuclear fuel pellets in nuclear forensics investigations have been mainly focused on macroscopic characteristics, such as fuel pellet dimensions, uranium enrichment and other reactor-specific features. But Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists are going a step further by going down to the microscale to study the diverse...

Freshening up contaminated water

Aug. 28, 2019- 
Nitrate is a troublesome groundwater contaminant that is mainly caused by fertilizer runoff on farmlands. Many wells in agricultural regions exceed the EPA limit for nitrate in drinking water, and without an economical treatment option the water is unfit for potable use. But Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Stanford University researchers have developed a technology that can...

Jupiter shows its true stripes

Aug. 27, 2019- 
There’s a reason why Jupiter’s stripes are only skin deep. It turns out that the planet’s zonal winds -- the alternating east-west jet streams seen in photographs as colorful stripes -- only descend to 3,000 kilometers in the atmosphere. Magnetic fields can make fluids that conduct electricity (like Jupiter’s atmosphere) behave more like honey than water. Deeper into the planet, where the...

Lawrence Livermore climate scientist Karl Taylor elected American Geophysical Union fellow

Aug. 23, 2019- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) climate scientist Karl Taylor has been selected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The AGU, with a membership of more than 60,000, is an international scientific association that spans the major disciplines of earth and space sciences. Each year a tenth of a percent of the members become fellows in recognition of their...

'Quantum annealer' shows promise in study

Aug. 21, 2019- 
An international team of researchers, including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Arjun Gambhir, has developed a new algorithm for solving polynomial systems of equations using a type of quantum computer called a "quantum annealer." The team systematically examined how this method scales when facing increasingly difficult mathematical equations, with promising results....

Nanowire arrays could improve solar cells

Aug. 8, 2019- 
Transparent electrodes are a critical component of solar cells and electronic displays. To collect electricity in a solar cell or inject electricity for a display, you need a conductive contact, like a metal, but you also need to be able to let light in (for solar cells) or out (for displays). Metal is opaque, so the current techniques use metal oxides, most often indium tin oxide — a near...

Klein named American Meteorological fellow

July 31, 2019- 
Atmospheric scientist Stephen Klein has been selected as a fellow of the American Meteorological Society. The American Meteorological Society (AMS) is the premier scientific and professional organization in the United States promoting and disseminating information about the atmospheric, oceanic and hydrologic sciences. AMS membership numbers 13,000 and is divided roughly evenly among the...

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...

Under pressure: New device's 1.6 billion atmospheres per second assists impact studies

July 11, 2019- 
A new super-fast high-pressure device at DESY's PERA III X-ray light source allows scientists to simulate and study earthquakes and meteorite impacts more realistically in the lab. The new-generation dynamic diamond anvil cell (dDAC), developed by scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton (DESY), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility...

Co-Optima identifies six new blendstocks for improved fuel economy, vehicle performance

July 3, 2019- 
Three years after embarking upon a rigorous evaluation of a pool of more than 400 candidates, researchers with the Co-Optimization of Fuels & Engines (Co-Optima) initiative have identified six blendstocks from two chemical families that exhibit the greatest potential to dramatically increase efficiency when combined with petroleum-based fuels in boosted (or turbocharged) spark-ignition...

Stellar reactions in a galaxy not so far, far away

July 1, 2019- 
Few people over the course of history have had a hand in discovering an atomic element. Yet nuclear chemist Dawn Shaughnessy joined a team of scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Russia that discovered five elements from 1989 to 2010. Now she leads the Nuclear and Radiochemistry Group of the Physics and Life Sciences Directorate at LLNL and uses the National...

Did comet impacts jump-start life on Earth?

June 27, 2019- 
Comets screaming through the atmosphere of early Earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour likely contained measurable amounts of protein-forming amino acids. Upon impact, these amino acids self-assembled into significantly larger nitrogen-containing aromatic structures that are likely constituents of polymeric biomaterials. That is the conclusion of a new study by Lawrence Livermore...