OUR RESEARCH

Nuclear, Chemical and Isotopic Science and Technology

Who We Are

Our multidisciplinary teams include nuclear and particle physicists, chemists and forensic and computer scientists supporting missions such as nuclear deterrence, counterterrorism, environmental remediation and space exploration. Meet some of the people who work in nuclear, chemical and isotopic science and technology:

 

Narek Gharibyan
Forensic Science Center/Technical Nuclear Forensics
Ruth Kips
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division
Kay Kolos McCubbin
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division
Wei Jia Ong
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division
Nicolas Schunck
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division
Jingke Xu
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division

Our Latest News

Our Current Projects

Our research teams explore nuclear and particle physics, chemistry and isotopic signatures, developing cutting-edge tools to uncover new chemical signatures or study nuclear reactions to make the world a safer place.

 

modeling cells in nuclear reaction

 

Analyzing Nuclear Reactions

We are developing techniques to harvest and purify rare, radioactive isotopes and use them for direct neutron-capture measurements to better understand the origins of heavy elements and increase confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile. Promising results are setting the stage for upcoming collaborative experiments aimed at producing and harvesting exotic radioactive isotopes — providing fundamental nuclear data that will enhance the predictive capability of nuclear physics simulations and enable researchers to better interpret nuclear events.

 

Full system view of the nEXO project detector

 

Studying the Behavior of Neutrinos

We study neutrinos—the lightest known particle, with almost no mass and no electrical charge. These elementary particles may help explain why matter survived in our early universe. LLNL scientists and colleagues from 35 institutions are teaming up on the nEXO project to develop a new, highly sensitive detector to explore the properties and behavior of neutrinos indirectly, by analyzing a radioactive decay process known as neutrinoless double beta decay.

 

Scientist holding material at space science institute

 

Cosmochemistry and Space Exploration

Our researchers study extraterrestrial materials to unravel the history of the solar system and our cosmic neighborhood. We are also adapting LLNL nuclear forensics technology for space exploration, and we developed one of the instruments that will be used during an upcoming NASA mission to explore the unique metal exterior of the Psyche asteroid. Our specially adapted gamma-ray spectrometer will measure the energy of gamma rays emitted from the asteroid’s surface to help determine the composition of its unique metal exterior.

 

Our Facilities, Centers and Institutes

The Laboratory is home to several state-of-the-art facilities and centers to help researchers tackle the hardest and most complex nuclear deterrence and homeland security missions.

 

Related Organizations

World-class science takes teamwork. Explore the organizations that contribute to our nuclear, chemical and isotopic science and technology research by clicking the images below.

 

Join Our Team

We offer opportunities in a variety of fields, not just science and technology. We are home to a diverse staff of professionals that includes administrators, researchers, creatives, supply chain staff, health services workers and more. Visit our careers page to learn more about the different career paths we offer and find the one that speaks to you. Make your mark on the world!