Study reveals cause of 3D asymmetry in ICF implosions

Feb. 25, 2021- 
Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) implosions require very high levels of symmetry in order to reach the high densities and temperatures required for fusion induced self-heating. Even percent-level deviations from perfect spherical symmetry can lead to significant distortions of the implosion and ultimately degrade fusion performance. To that end, researchers from Lawrence Livermore...

Lab develops new method for probing material strength

Feb. 9, 2021- 
In an effort to better understand how materials deform under extreme conditions, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have developed a new experimental method for probing large-strain and high-rate material strength. In a paper recently published in Acta Materialia, Jonathan Lind, LLNL physicist and lead author, said results of the work aid in providing updated...

NIF sets new laser energy record

July 10, 2018- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) laser system has set a new record, firing 2.15 megajoules (MJ) of energy to its target chamber -- a 15 percent improvement over NIF’s design specification of 1.8 MJ, and more than 10 percent higher than the previous 1.9 MJ energy record set in March 2012. This demonstration shot successfully meets a National...

NIF achieves record double fusion yield

June 13, 2018- 
An experimental campaign conducted at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) National Ignition Facility (NIF) has achieved a total fusion neutron yield of 1.9e16 (1.9x1016) and 54 KJ of fusion energy output -- double the previous record. Researchers in LLNL’s Inertial Confinement Fusion Program (ICF) detail the results in a paper that will be published this week in Physical Review...

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...

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...

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...

National Ignition Facility's dual-purpose positioner is proving its worth

Feb. 16, 2017- 
While multitasking may be easy for some people (and perhaps hard for others), it can be a particular challenge for the highly specialized equipment used to carry out experiments on the National Ignition Facility (NIF).But TanDM, NIF’s new Target and Diagnostic Manipulator, is designed to do just that. To date, it is proving itself more than up to the job of performing as a target positioner...

National Ignition Facility tops 400 shots in FY16

Sept. 26, 2016- 
LIVERMORE, California – On Sept. 18, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) performed its 400th experiment of fiscal year (FY) 2016, meeting the year's goal several weeks early. In comparison, the facility completed 356 experiments in FY15 and 191 experiments in FY14. NIF is on track to complete 415 experiments by the end of the fiscal year, more than doubling its FY14 accomplishments. Located...

Climbing the mountain of fusion ignition: an interview with Omar Hurricane

May 14, 2015- 
LLNL Distinguished Scientist Omar Hurricane, chief scientist for the Laboratory’s Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) program, is at the forefront of the drive to achieve nuclear fusion with energy gain for the first time in a laboratory. In a wide-ranging interview with NIF & Photon Science News, Hurricane outlines the NIF strategy for moving toward ignition and describes the challenges...

Physics World names National Ignition Facility fuel gain top 10 breakthrough of the year

Dec. 15, 2014- 
Physics World, an international monthly magazine published by the Institute of Physics, has named the National Ignition Facility’s (NIF) achievement of fuel gain one of its top 10 breakthroughs of the year.Ignition — the process of releasing fusion energy equal to or greater than the amount of energy used to confine the fuel — has long been considered the "holy grail" of inertial confinement...

From RAGS to riches

Sept. 25, 2014- 
The Radiochemical Analysis of Gaseous Samples (RAGS) is a true trash to treasure story, turning debris from the National Ignition Facility's (NIF) target chamber into valuable data that helps to shape future experiments.The RAGS diagnostic, developed for NIF by Sandia National Laboratories and commissioned in 2012, is a cryogenic system designed to collect the gaseous debris from the NIF...

Wisoff selected as principal associate director for NIF & Photon Science

June 10, 2014- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein has named Peter J.K. "Jeff" Wisoff the principal associate director for the Lab's National Ignition Facility & Photon Science (PAD/NIF&PS) directorate. The appointment is effective immediately.Wisoff has been acting PAD/NIF&PS since Oct. 2013 "and has done an outstanding job in that role," Goldstein said. "I have every confidence...