Back

Lasers and Optical S&T

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…

Celebrating ignition through art at City Center Bishop Ranch

Visitors to City Center Bishop Ranch in San Ramon can now learn about LLNL’s historic fusion ignition achievement while they shop and dine. “Bringing Star Power to Earth,” a new art installation on the exterior of the center, tells the story of ignition through nine banners measuring 23 feet tall. The centerpiece is the ignition artwork that LLNL used in the first…

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…

When experiments go quiet: maintaining the National Ignition Facility

For two weeks last April, the lasers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility stopped firing. Experiments may have been on pause, but the facility was anything but quiet. “To do world-class science, you need a world-class facility. And you can’t just maintain that facility, you must anticipate problems and seek out improvements,” said Stanley…

DOE, LLNL take center stage at inaugural artificial-intelligence expo

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Director Kim Budil and other LLNL staff joined Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Secretary David Turk, National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Jill Hruby, DOE Under Secretary for Science and Innovation Geraldine Richmond, DOE Director of the Office of Critical and Emerging Technologies Helena Fu, U.S…

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,…

Machine learning optimizes high-power laser experiments

Commercial fusion energy plants and advanced compact radiation sources may rely on high-intensity high-repetition rate lasers, capable of firing multiple times per second, but humans could be a limiting factor in reacting to changes at these shot rates. Applying advanced computing to this problem, a team of international scientists from Lawrence Livermore National…

Comic book tells the story of ignition

A new comic book from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) illustrator John Jett tells the story of how a Lab experiment at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) made history. This 2024 issue of Ignition is an exciting sequel to Jett’s award-winning comic book, released in 2018, that made the scientific research conducted at NIF accessible to a broad range of…

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…

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…

LLNL-led team receives DOE Award to establish inertial fusion energy hub

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a four-year, $16 million project to a multi-institutional team led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to accelerate inertial fusion energy (IFE) science and technology. This effort will be carried out by the newly established IFE Science and Technology Accelerated Research for Fusion Innovation and Reactor…

Engineering divisions provide expertise and support fusion energy’s future

In the 2000s, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) engineer Steve Hunter was asked to work on the concept for an Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE) power plant, not because of any laser or electronics knowledge that he has, but due to his firearms expertise. He needed to figure out how to inject a stream of targets into the target chamber, so that a constant source of…

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…

Lab researchers elected Optica fellows

Jean-Michel “JM” Di Nicola and Peter “Jeff” Wisoff of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been selected as fellows of Optica (formerly OSA). Fellows are selected based on several factors, including distinguished contributions to education, research, engineering, business and serving the optics and photonics community. Click here to see the entire Optica 2024…

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)…

LLNL experimental physicist Alex Zylstra awarded 2023 Fabre Prize

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) physicist Alex Zylstra has been awarded the 2023 Edouard Fabre Prize for his experimental leadership of the milestone “Hybrid-E” campaign that achieved fusion ignition at the National Ignition Facility (NIF). The inertial confinement fusion (ICF) campaign used increased laser energy to compress deuterium and tritium (DT) fuel,…

Physicist Otto ‘Nino‘ Landen receives prestigious Edward Teller Award

Otto “Nino” Landen, a distinguished member of the technical staff and the inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments group leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), has been awarded the 2023 Edward Teller Medal. The Fusion Energy Division of the American Nuclear Society (ANS) presented the award to Landen this week during the International Conference on…

NIF&PS Summer Scholar wants to inspire other students

When Ashleigh Wilson was growing up, she thought she would become an accountant. Fast forward to the present — and the Norfolk State University Ph.D. candidate has just wrapped up her second year as a National Ignition Facility & Photon Science (NIF&PS) Summer Scholar Program intern at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). “When I was a child, I really…