View the LLNL home Back to the S&TR home Subscribe to Our magazine Send 
us your comments Browse through our index

 

 

 

 

 


Privacy &
Legal Notice



October 2002

The Laboratory
in the News

Commentary by
Hal Graboske

Sending Up Signals for Genetic Variation

SiMM Is Anything But Simple

World's Most Powerful Solid-State Laser

Stepping Up to Extreme Lithography

Relief for Acute and Chronic Pain

Energy and Environment: Understanding Our World

Patents

Awards

 

Hal Graboske

Hal Graboske
Acting Deputy Director for
Science and Tecnology

Applied Science Is a Hallmark of This Laboratory


THIS month’s issue of Science & Technology Review highlights Livermore’s success in applied science—taking scientific ideas and developing them into technologies and products that meet real-world needs. Engineers often refer to this process as “turning hand-waving into hardware.” Ever since E. O. Lawrence founded this Laboratory, we have been directed by the nation, through Congress, to apply this process to a variety of missions, from designing nuclear weapons to designing instruments to rapidly detect chemical and biological agents released in terrorist attacks. month’s issue of Science & Technology Review highlights Livermore’s success in applied science—taking scientific ideas and developing them into technologies and products that meet real-world needs. Engineers often refer to this process as “turning hand-waving into hardware.” Ever since E. O. Lawrence founded this Laboratory, we have been directed by the nation, through Congress, to apply this process to a variety of missions, from designing nuclear weapons to designing instruments to rapidly detect chemical and biological agents released in terrorist attacks.
Underlying the applied science at Livermore is exploratory science, in which we research the fundamental aspects of physics, chemistry, materials science, and bioscience. This exploratory research produces the necessary foundation for developing scientific and technological solutions to national security problems. Among the results are nuclear weapons to support the U.S. deterrent, precision technologies for fabricating one-of-a-kind optics for lasers and telescopes, miniaturized DNA assays and instruments for quickly detecting biothreat agents, and x-ray and extreme-ultraviolet optics for making next-generation computer chips.
Every year, R&D Magazine selects the 100 most technologically significant new products and processes of the past year. Since 1978, Livermore has received 90 of these R&D 100 Awards. They provide independent confirmation of the Laboratory’s excellence in applied science and technology. As with previous award-winning products and processes, this year’s winners are derived from work carried out for our core missions, work demanding that we come up with creative science and technology answers to solve the nation’s problems. These answers, in turn, have led to further inventions and creations with applications originally unimagined.
Three of this year’s winners have origins in our laser program efforts. The solid-state heat-capacity laser, for instance, is a powerful but compact laser that has near-term defense applications as well as potential applications in industrial materials processing. The technology that made possible another winner, the small laser diode array, has obvious applications in industrial materials processing and promises to contribute to the field of laser surgery. Then there’s the thin-film coating tool—developed for extreme-ultraviolet lithography for producing next-generation computer chips—which looks to have wider applications in the worlds of microelectronics and optics.
The other two winning inventions are grounded in bioscience but may have future roles in homeland security and nonproliferation as well. In situ rolling circle amplification shows great potential to help diagnose genetic disease and has potential applications in the fight against bioterrorism. The portable transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation device has obvious benefits in improved medical treatments. Furthermore, this device and others developed as part of our program of cooperative threat reduction activities with the former Soviet Union continue to open doors for Russian scientists and engineers who once worked on Soviet weapons programs, helping them redirect their talents to civilian applications.
As the Laboratory embarks on its post–September 11 homeland security mission, its expertise in applied science is as important as ever. Science and technology play a critical role in defending the country against terrorism waged with weapons of mass destruction by providing new detection capabilities, better methods for emergency response and recovery, and, perhaps most important, improved information analysis and connectivity. In these areas and more, we build on our 50-year tradition of excellence in applied science. This excellence will let us fulfill our expanding and evolving national security missions in deterrence and nonproliferation and meet the needs of new missions in counterterrorism and homeland security. Success in developing some of the devices and technologies we are pursuing for homeland security might lead to recognition by R&D Magazine in future years.


 



Back | S&TR Home | LLNL Home | Help | Phone Book | Comments
Site designed and maintained by Kitty Tinsley

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Operated by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy

UCRL-52000-02-10 | November 15, 2002