Back

Physics

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…

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…

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…

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…

Manufacturing optimized designs for high explosives

When materials are subjected to extreme environments, they face the risk of mixing together. This mixing may result in hydrodynamic instabilities, yielding undesirable side effects. Such instabilities present a grand challenge across multiple disciplines, especially in astrophysics, combustion and shaped charges — a device used to focus the energy of a detonating explosive…

See the solar corona: an intricate pattern reveals itself during the April 8 eclipse

On Monday, April 8, a swath of North America will experience a total solar eclipse. For a few minutes, the moon will completely obscure the sun and viewers will be able to see the intricate loops and flares in the solar corona—normally washed out by the bright disk of the sun. In the corona, the outermost, gaseous part of the sun’s atmosphere, particles dance around…

Five Lab postdocs will attend 73rd annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings

Getting the chance to meet and mingle with scientists who have achieved Nobel Prize winning greatness will be the reality for five Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) postdoctoral appointees selected to attend the 73rd annual Lindau Nobel Laureate meetings. Tina Ebert, Elizabeth Grace and Raspberry Simpson were selected as the 2024 LLNL cohort; Tomi Akindele and…

Using NIF to study the sluggish pace of star formation

Editor’s note: The principal mission of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) is to support the National Nuclear Security Administration’s science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program — and with the achievement of fusion ignition in 2022 at NIF, LLNL is further exploring the possible use of nuclear fusion as a future energy source…

Supercomputer simulations of super-diamond suggest a path to its creation

Diamond is the strongest material known. However, another form of carbon has been predicted to be even tougher than diamond. The challenge is how to create it on Earth. The eight-atom body-centered cubic (BC8) crystal is a distinct carbon phase: not diamond, but very similar. BC8 is predicted to be a stronger material, exhibiting a 30% greater resistance to compression…

Lab employees recognized with Secretary of Energy’s Honor Awards

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) employees, participating in five project teams, recently earned Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary’s Honor Awards. In addition, Karin King of the Livermore Field Office was honored for her role in the Leadership in Climate Action Team. Representing some of the highest internal, non-monetary recognition that DOE employees and…

Strategic Deterrence Academic Collaboration Team awards six scientists to support collaborative research

Six scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) were recently granted awards through the Lab’s 2023 Academic Collaboration Team (ACT) annual call for proposals. Awards support university research partners for up to three years to perform research in collaboration with Lab scientists and offer an important way to build long-term connections with…

New study reveals surprising behavior of iron under extreme conditions

Iron is one of the world’s most abundant elements and a primary component of the Earth's core. Understanding the behavior of iron under extreme conditions, such as ultra-high pressures and temperatures, has implications for the science of geology and the Earth’s evolution. In a study conducted by a team led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. researchers combined…

Two LLNL Physicists named American Physical Society Career Mentoring Fellows

PLS staff physicists Ben Zhu and Veronika Kruse were selected by the American Physical Society (APS) as Career Mentoring Fellows for 2023-2024. Ben belongs to PLS’s Fusion Sciences program and Veronika is in the High Energy Density Science section. Part of their duties involve attending selected APS conferences such as the Division of Plasma Physics (DPP) meeting,…

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…

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…

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,…

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…

In a first, LLNL researchers create birefringent all-glass metasurface

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have adapted their novel metasurface process, which creates a thin layer on the surface of an optic, to create an all-glass metasurface with birefringence, or dual refraction, properties. This achievement could transform waveplate technology for high-power laser systems such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF)…