Next-Generation Experimental Technologies
What We Do
Next-generation experimental technologies and tools in support of LLNL's state-of-the-art facilities are leading to new discoveries and innovation in support of our national security mission. These next-gen technologies will be harnessed to shape our future capabilities and expertise.
Meet Our People
“I enjoy leading and interacting with multidisciplinary teams at LLNL. We are known for 'big science,' and I am gratified to be part of it. Some of these large efforts span many laboratories, providing opportunities to meet scientists all over the NNSA and DOE complex. I am proud that my work supports our nation’s security.”
"LLNL is the type of place where big ideas are not only accepted but nurtured. High-performing teams are assembled from the diverse community of people working here, and the quality of individual team members is so great that I believe there is no problem we can’t overcome."
"There is no better place to be than LLNL. I work on cutting-edge lasers and technology, work with some of the world’s best and most experienced scientists and collaborate on some of the world’s most impressive lasers. These lasers help answer some of our most critical national security questions, which adds meaning to our work."
Making Our Mark Through Game-Changing Projects
A novel radiography capability aids stockpile stewardship
Scorpius, a multi-lab project to develop a next-generation particle accelerator for x-ray imaging, will yield an unprecedented experimental tool powered by Livermore technology. When deployed, Scorpius will generate multiple high-fidelity radiographic images of confined subcritical experiments utilizing special nuclear material. The images from Scorpius will enable LLNL and other national security laboratories to certify the safety, security, and effectiveness of modernized nuclear warheads without resorting to full-scale nuclear testing.Learn more
Seeing 'inside' materials to maintain and modernize our stockpile
To qualify new materials and assess the fidelity of our aging weapons, we must be able to predict the impact of changes in composition, defects, and overall microstructure on the performance of materials at relevant extreme environments. Groundbreaking x-ray facilities are necessary to provide the data needed to resolve materials issues in the extreme conditions that characterize nuclear weapons performance. LLNL scientists utilize advanced light sources throughout the world and operate a dedicated sector at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory, conducting world-leading materials science experiments at extreme conditions. LLNL continues to expand investments at APS and other world-leading light sources to further enable next-generation experimental technologies.Learn more
Fabricating Tiny Targets to Achieve Big Results
At the heart of complex experiments at the giant National Ignition Facility (NIF) are carefully constructed targets merely the size of a pencil eraser. A wide variety of targets are leveraged, all of which have intricate assemblies of extremely small parts. Designing, machining, and assembling these parts with micromanipulators into precisely manufactured targets requires a complex interplay among target designers, physicists, materials scientists, chemists, engineers, and technicians. The physics package contains the main experimental components of every NIF target and may include an ablator to initiate a specific ramp of pressure, a “reservoir” of different materials to shape a compression pulse, a backlighter that creates a beam of diagnostic x rays when illuminated by laser light, a cylinder called a hohlraum to convert laser light to x rays, and a material under investigation. The complete target assembly also contains shields to protect the NIF beamlines from potentially destructive back-reflected light and debris created during the shot; stalks to hold parts rigidly in position; and features to aid the proper alignment of laser beams, target, and diagnostics for an experiment.Learn more