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National Academies recommend high priority for work on Lawrence Livermore's National Ignition Facility

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- A report issued by the National Research Council highlights the significant impact of successful development of inertial fusion energy (IFE), and recommends priorities for future research in this area. As noted in this National Academies' report, "The potential benefits of inertial confinement fusion energy (abundant fuel, minimal greenhouse gas…

Lawrence Livermore research highlighted at AAAS annual meeting

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will highlight its expertise in fusion energy and space exploration when the American Association for the Advancement of Science holds its annual meeting, Feb. 14-18 in Boston. This year's meeting spotlights the "unreasonable effectiveness" of the scientific enterprise in creating economic growth, solving societal…

Livermore experiments illuminate how order arises in the cosmos

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- One of the unsolved mysteries of contemporary science is how highly organized structures can emerge from the random motion of particles. This applies to many situations ranging from astrophysical objects that extend over millions of light years to the birth of life on Earth. The surprising discovery of self-organized electromagnetic fields in counter…

Paper explores new regimes in fast ignition

Nearly 20 years ago, a group of researchers at the Laboratory proposed a hole boring process that would serve as the original scheme for fast ignition. Today, LLNL researchers are pushing this research ahead into new regimes. When a laser beam is reflected from a mirror, a finite amount of momentum - carried by light - is transferred to the mirror so that the mirror is…

LLNL researchers receive nearly $2.75 million for high energy density projects

The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Office of Science (SC) have awarded more than $14 million in research awards as part of the Joint Program in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP). Six LLNL researchers received nearly $2.75 million for their projects. "These awards demonstrate the strong and valuable partnership…

NIF diagnostics described at American Chemical Society meeting

Laboratory researchers gave presentations about the National Ignition Facility's diagnostic equipment in a symposium organized by LLNL's Dawn Shaughnessy at the American Chemical Society's Meeting on Materials for Health and Medicine Aug. 19-23. Carol Velsco and LLNL colleagues described the Radiochemical Analysis of Gaseous Samples (RAGS) apparatus for NIF nuclear…

Yu-hsin Chen receives APS outstanding doctoral thesis award

Yu-hsin Chen, an LLNL postdoc in the NIF & PS Directorate, has been selected to receive the 2012 Marshall N. Rosenbluth Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Award by the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics. The award, sponsored by General Atomics, was established to recognize "exceptional young scientists who have performed original thesis work of outstanding…

NIF team wins esteemed plasma physics award

A far-reaching discovery about laser-matter interaction with important implications for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) has led to the selection of a team of researchers named recipients of the 2012 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research. The award, established by the American Physical Society, will be presented to LLNL researchers Debbie Callahan…

National Ignition Facility makes history with record 500 terawatt shot

LIVERMORE, CA. - Fifteen years of work by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility (NIF) team paid off on July 5 with a historic record-breaking laser shot. The NIF laser system of 192 beams delivered more than 500 trillion watts (terawatts or TW) of peak power and 1.85 megajoules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light to its target. Five hundred…

New accelerator to examine heavy-ion-beam approach to inertial fusion power

The Department of Energy's Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory (HIFS-VNL), whose member institutions include LLNL, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, has recently completed a new accelerator designed to study an alternate approach to inertial fusion energy. Housed at LBNL, NDCX-II is a compact machine…

Optical Society of America names Seppala senior member

Lynn Seppala has been named a senior member of the Optical Society of America (OSA), an international society for optics and photonics scientists, engineers, educators and business leaders. Senior membership status recognizes members with more than 10 years of significant experience and professional accomplishments or service in their fields. Seppala, a senior optical…

Lab featured on NOVA's 'Hunting the Elements'

The Laboratory was recently featured on NOVA's "Hunting the Elements," a two-hour special from the producers of the "Making Stuff" series hosted by David Pogue, technology correspondent of The New York Times . Pogue spins viewers through the world of weird, extreme chemistry: the strongest acids, the deadliest poisons, the universe's most abundant elements, and the rarest…

LLNL highlighted in upcoming television lineup

An 8-10-minute segment about NIF and the progress toward ignition is scheduled to air on "CBS Sunday Morning" Sunday, April 1; the program begins at 6 a.m. Pacific time. New York Times technology columnist and CBS News contributor David Pogue and a CBS camera crew visited NIF on March 8 to prepare the segment. Pogue interviewed NIF Director Ed Moses and the crew did…

Lawrence Livermore's National Ignition Facility achieves record laser energy in pursuit of fusion ignition

LIVERMORE, Calif. -- The National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world's most energetic laser, surpassed a critical milestone in its efforts to meet one of modern science's greatest challenges: achieving fusion ignition and energy gain in a laboratory setting. NIF's 192 lasers fired in perfect unison, delivering a record 1.875 million joules (MJ) of ultraviolet laser light…

NIF's Operations Support Building awarded LEED certification

The Operations Support Building (OSB) in Bldg. 581 has achieved certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. The OSB, which houses the new Target Alignment System and Final Optics Damage Inspection System alignment labs as well as optics and material handling labs and offices, is the fifth building at LLNL to be…

Ten scientists named Distinguished Members of Technical Staff

Ten Laboratory researchers have been named Distinguished Members of Technical Staff (DMTS) for their extraordinary scientific and technical contributions to the Laboratory and its missions as acknowledged by their professional peers and the larger community. Jim Candy of the Engineering Directorate, John Castor of the Weapons and Complex Integration Principal Directorate,…

Scientists create new atomic X-ray laser

Lab scientists and international collaborators have created the shortest, purest X-ray laser pulses ever achieved, fulfilling a 45-year-old prediction and ultimately opening the door to new medicines, devices and materials. The researchers, reporting today (Jan. 26) in Nature , aimed radiation from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), located at the Stanford Linear…

Lawrence Livermore physicist John Edwards elected 2011 APS fellow

John Edwards, associate program director for inertial confinement fusion (ICF) and high energy density (HED) science at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), has been selected as a 2011 American Physical Society (APS) fellow. Edwards was cited in the plasma physics category for fundamental contributions to hydrodynamics in HED physics and for his leadership in the…

Barty named SPIE Fellow

Christopher Barty, chief technology officer for LLNL's National Ignition Facility and Photon Science Directorate, is one of 75 newly-named fellows of SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics). Barty is recognized for his achievements in a leadership role in the advancement and development of new laser technology. He has published more than 150 manuscripts…

Lab researchers gain microscopic understanding of nuclear fusion

Lab scientists have taken a crucial step toward describing thermonuclear reactions from first principles. Over the past decade, progress has been made in understanding the static properties of light nuclei based on realistic interactions among protons and neutrons. But ab initio calculations of nuclear scattering and reactions have been mostly confined to systems of four…