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Physical and Life Sciences

Resolving astronomical mysteries

A new satellite called XRISM (X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission, pronounced “crism”) was successfully launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on Sep. 7, 2023. XRISM is a collaboration between the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), with European Space Agency participation, to study extreme…

Geophysicist characterizes the earth while forming community at Livermore

Geophysicist Christina “Chris” Morency’s research has led her around the globe to demystify the world beneath our feet. Since arriving at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 2011, she has held leadership roles on numerous research teams and has worked diligently to make Lawrence Livermore a welcoming place for all. Originally from France, Morency said she is …

Record-setting SC23 builds mile-high momentum for exascale computing, AI, and the future of HPC

The crowds returned to SC, and with them came a renewed excitement for the future of high performance computing (HPC). A record number of attendees — more than 14,000 — experts, researchers, vendors and enthusiasts in the field of HPC descended on the Mile High City for the 2023 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis,…

Inaugural National Lab Research SLAM showcases early-career researchers

Gathered in the Congressional Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 17 early-career researchers used three minutes and a single slide to present their pioneering research during the inaugural National Lab Research SLAM. Representing each of the 17 Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories, finalists presented in four research categories: Energy Security, National…

LLNL-led SCREAM team clinches inaugural Gordon Bell Prize for climate modeling

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)-led effort that performed an unprecedented global climate model simulation on the world’s first exascale supercomputer has won the first-ever Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Gordon Bell Prize for Climate Modelling, ACM officials announced Thursday. The Simple Cloud Resolving E3SM Atmosphere Model (SCREAM) team, led…

Just add salt: Researchers explore a new electricity-free cooling method

Rising global temperatures are creating an increased demand for cooling as the number of air-conditioning units used worldwide is expected to triple by 2050. However, with 13% of the global population without access to electricity, solutions that can provide cooling without electricity are needed. In a study published in Materials Horizon, a Lawrence Livermore National…

Watching aluminum’s reaction under extreme pressure

Understanding laser material interactions has applications that include inertial confinement fusion, material research and equation of state studies. Laser ablation, and specifically increasing the pressure that can be achieved from a laser system, is a longstanding topic of scientific research with implications ranging from damage in layered devices like solar cells and…

Probing the temperature of materials under extreme pressure

In new experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility, scientists measured the extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) of copper to probe its temperature under extreme pressure. The research appears in the journal Nature Communications. Dynamic compression experiments at high-energy-density laser facilities have expanded the…

Migration of elements found in nuclear waste may get a boost from natural proteins

Past and present nuclear activities (energy, research and weapon tests) have increased the need to understand the behavior of radioactive materials in the environment. Nuclear wastes containing actinides (such as plutonium, americium, curium and neptunium) are particularly problematic as they remain radioactive and toxic for thousands of years. However, when compared to…

PROSPECTing new perspective on reactor-produced neutrinos

While neutrinos are one of the most common particles in the universe, their elusive nature makes it challenging to understand their behavior. In new research from the Precision Reactor Oscillation and Spectrum (PROSPECT) Experiment, scientists have produced final results from measurements of neutrinos emitted by a nuclear reactor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Their…

Rewetting of a seasonally dry California grassland soil helps microbe-preying viruses thrive

Beneath the Earth's surface, a relentless conflict unfolds as soil viruses prey on their tiny microbial hosts, fundamentally shaping our planet's ecosystems. New research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and their collaborators at the University of California, Berkeley illuminates a fascinating phenomenon: the demise of soil bacteria and other…

LLNL hosts HBCU students, faculty to build new pipeline of talent

For the second consecutive year, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) hosted a group of student scholars and faculty members from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on a recent five-day visit. LLNL’s goal is to develop the next wave of summer interns — and to build a strong pipeline of talent — from historically marginalized groups in science,…

Radiochemistry intern digs deep to prevent the spread of nuclear waste

The groundbreaking discoveries and scientific advancements that take place at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and ­­across the broader national laboratory system rely on the passage of information from tenured staff scientists to new interns and early career scientists. This past summer, Zachary (Zach) Murphy, a Ph.D. student studying chemistry at the…

LLNL’s Feaster named to American Institute for Chemical Engineering’s '35 Under 35' class for 2023

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory staff scientist Jeremy Feaster has been named as one of the American Institute for Chemical Engineering’s (AIChE) “35 Under 35” award winners for 2023. The recognition honors chemical engineers under the age of 35 who have made outstanding contributions to their field and to the chemical engineering community, according to the…

Two LLNL scientists selected as 2023 American Physical Society fellows

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists Manyalibo “Ibo” Matthews and Frank Graziani have been named 2023 American Physical Society (APS) fellows. Matthews was selected from the Forum in Industrial and Applied Physics unit “for pioneering research in optimizing metal 3D printing and laser materials processing.” Frank Graziani was chosen from the Division of…

Journey to the center of the earth: exploring iron’s equation of state

A typical high-school science class teaches that Earth’s core is comprised of two parts: an inner core that is composed mainly of solid iron and an outer core that is composed mainly of molten, liquid iron. Although this is common knowledge, the location of the boundary between the solid inner core and liquid outer core, as well as many other facets of Earth’s deep…

Lab instrument now on two-billion-mile journey to the metallic asteroid Psyche

An instrument designed and built by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers departed Earth last week on a two-billion-mile, nearly six-year journey through space to explore a rare, largely metal asteroid. The Livermore high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray sensor is an essential part of a larger gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS) built in collaboration with…

All eyes on Miguel Cisneros

Miguel Cisneros is a first-generation Mexican American whose journey in life has taken him to explore and navigate the unknown fearlessly. Growing up, Cisneros was an only child who welcomed new adventures. His interest in exploring new experiences and places is something he continues to do to this day. Cisneros’ parents migrated from Mexico to the United States for a…

Two selected as Graduate Student Research program recipients

Two graduate students have earned Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program awards to perform their doctoral dissertation research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The prestigious award helps cover living expenses and travel for 60 students from universities across the nation. Their proposed research projects…

National economy continues to reenergize post-pandemic, while pushing toward a new, decarbonized normal

In 2022, Americans used more renewables to generate electricity than in previous years, according to the most recent energy flowcharts and carbon flowcharts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The nation used 3% more energy, emitted an additional 96 million tons of CO2, but decreased the carbon intensity of U.S. electricity generation by 3.6%,…