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Physical and Life Sciences

Two LLNL physicists honored for international collaboration

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicists Hye-Sook Park and George Swadling, along with Anna Grassi of France’s Sorbonne University and former Lawrence Fellow Frederico Fiuza of Portugal’s Técnico Lisboa, received the 2024 Lev D. Landau and Lyman Spitzer Jr. Award for Outstanding Contributions to Plasma Physics. The award is jointly sponsored by the Plasma…

Nano-confinement may be key to improving hydrogen production

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have discovered a new mechanism that can boost the efficiency of hydrogen production through water splitting. This research, published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, was featured on the journal cover and provides new insights into the behavior of water reactivity and proton transfer under extreme…

Lawrence Livermore celebrates employees with 50-plus years of service

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) recently honored a unique cohort of Laboratory employees: those who have worked at the Lab for more than 50 years, including those who will reach this milestone by the end of the year. The first-of-its-kind ceremony recognized the group’s incredible contributions over decades of commitment to the Lab’s missions. “It is amazing…

Advancements in Z-pinch fusion: New insights from plasma pressure profiles

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have reported advancements in understanding plasma pressure profiles within flow-stabilized Z-pinch fusion, a candidate for achieving net gain fusion energy in a compact device. In collaboration with the University of California San Diego (UCSD), the University of Washington, Sandia National Laboratories and…

LLNL honors 23 as Distinguished Members of Technical Staff

Twenty-three LLNL researchers have been named Distinguished Members of Technical Staff (DMTS) for their extraordinary scientific and technical contributions, as acknowledged by their professional peers and the broader scientific community. As distinguished citizens of the Laboratory and their scientific areas of specialization, DMTS honorees have a sustained history of…

Designing magnets with tunable properties using deep ensembles

Perovskite oxides are gaining significant attention for use in next-generation magnetic and ferroelectric devices due to their exceptional charge transport properties and the opportunity to tune the charge, spin, lattice, and orbital degrees of freedom. Interfaces between perovskite oxides exhibit unconventional magnetic exchange switching behavior, offering a pathway for…

The drive to break a swimming record

Five-time Olympic trials competitor Brandon Fischer knows how to persevere. As one of the oldest competitors in this year’s Olympic trials, the Lawrence Livermore Natonal Laboratory mechanical technologist at the Jupiter Laser Facility broke the 35-39 Masters World Record in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events. Fischer’s first foray into the water was in the …

LLNL gamma-ray sensor has the best resolution

It’s official. An instrument designed and built by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers is the highest-resolution gamma ray sensor that has ever flown in space. The Livermore high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma ray sensor is an essential part of a larger gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS) built in collaboration with researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied…

Surface vs. subsurface groundwater contamination at legacy oil site

The ability to identify the source of oilfield groundwater contamination, such as surface releases, wastewater injection, or subsurface well leakage, is critical in selecting proper remedial actions. For example, contamination from historical operations at the land surface can be remediated to prevent off-site migration and the contamination of the local aquifer. However,…

Forensic Science Center to mentor Moroccan lab

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Forensic Science Center (FSC) will assist a national laboratory from the North African nation of Morocco under an international program over the next year. As an Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-designated laboratory for more than two decades, LLNL will work with a Moroccan lab –…

Three selected as Graduate Student Research program recipients

Three 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…

Magnesium oxide undergoes dynamic transition when it comes to super-Earth exoplanets

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Johns Hopkins University have unlocked new secrets about the interiors of super-Earth exoplanets, potentially revolutionizing our understanding of these distant worlds. The focus of this work, magnesium oxide (MgO), a crucial component of Earth’s lower mantle, is believed to play a similar role in the…

A pattern of temperature change emerges from natural climate fluctuations

When comparing model simulations of Earth’s recent warming to real-world observations, differences can arise from several factors, including model errors in the simulated response to increased greenhouse gases and natural fluctuations within the climate system. Natural climate variability, also called internal variability, can change regional and global atmospheric…

LLNL and BridgeBio announce trials for supercomputing-discovered cancer drug

In a substantial milestone for supercomputing-aided drug design, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and BridgeBio Oncology Therapeutics (BridgeBio) today announced clinical trials have begun for a first-in-class medication that targets specific genetic mutations implicated in many types of cancer. The development of the new drug — BBO-8520 — is the result of…

Germanium isotope really does have an 11-day half-life

Searching for the elusive neutrino takes on many forms. Detectors consisting of many tons of gallium are used in several experiments because neutrino interactions can occur on the stable gallium-71 (71Ga) nucleus and transform it into a radioactive isotope of germanium (71Ge) with an 11-day half-life that can then be observed with traditional radiation detectors. However,…

Finding Livermore: Employees share their LLNL origin stories

With more than 70 years of history and nearly 9,000 current employees, it is not uncommon for several generations of family members to have worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). For those employees with parents or grandparents preceding them, a career at the Laboratory was not in their original plans. In fact, before coming to LLNL, many do not realize…

Unexpected source of nutrients fuels growth of toxic algae from Lake Erie

Climate change, such as warming and changes in precipitation patterns, affects the frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) globally, including those of toxin-producing cyanobacteria that can contaminate drinking water. These nutrient-induced blooms cause worldwide public and ecosystem health concerns. Since the mid-1990s, Lake Erie, the shallowest and warmest…

LLNL researchers develop framework for databasing properties of crystal defects

Point defects (e.g. missing, extra or swapped atoms) in crystalline materials often determine the actual electronic and optical response of a given material. For example, controlled substitutions in semiconductors like silicon are the backbone of modern technology. Despite their importance, point defects are notoriously difficult to simulate and characterize, particularly…

Jupiter Laser Facility gets a reboot

Fifty years ago, the first laser, Janus, was installed in Building 174 (renamed the Jupiter Laser Facility in 2006) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Additional lasers, more than 100 Ph.D.s granted time on the system and thousands of international users later, the Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) celebrated its grand reopening Thursday after a four-year refurbishment,…

Mystery of puffy exoplanet solved

A recent study of the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b suggests tidal heating is responsible for the exoplanet’s inflated nature and reveals a previously unseen combination of molecules in an exoplanet. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist and international collaborators have characterized the atmosphere of the exoplanet, WASP-107b, using a…