Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



March 31, 2021

Spotlight on:

Papers & Presentations


‘Intensity Islands’ Give Cone-Shaped Targets Relativistic Power

A turbulent, chaotic stew of plasma and laser fields gives cone-shaped targets their ability to help scientists explore new relativistic plasma regimes at NIF’s Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) laser, according to new research. Read more...


Photo of Elijah Kemp and OggieJones

Laser-Heated Foams Help HED Science, ICF Goals

LLNL scientists tested laser-heated additive manufactured foams to help advance HED science and support the ICF program goal of achieving ignition in the lab. Read more...

X-ray emission spectrum

HED Plasma Research Could Lead to ICF Insights

Researchers have isolated the energy distribution of the radiation plasmas emit, potentially leading to new insights on anomalous astrophysical data and for diagnosing conditions of ICF implosions.
Read more...

March 18, 2021

Photo of an ARC Compressor Vessel

NIF’s Laser to Test Nuclear Survivability in Space

What would happen if a ballistic missile interceptor or space reentry vehicle encountered a nuclear explosion above the atmosphere? That’s a question U.S. and U.K. defense planners hope to answer with the help of a new NIF capability now under development. Read more...

March 15, 2021

Target Assemblers Working in Cleanroom

Target Fab Team Helped Speed NIF’s Rapid Restart

The Target Fab Team’s efforts to quickly resume production following last year’s pandemic shutdown helped the rapid restart of NIF experiments, an key factor in LLNL’s overall rating of excellent in the NNSA’s 2020 Performance Evaluation Report. Read more...

Photo of a NIF senior mechanical technologist adjusting a pulse compressor

Pulse Compressor

Inside LLNL’s Advanced Concepts Laboratory, a NIF senior mechanical technologist adjusts a pulse compressor. Learn more ...

March 8, 2021

Photo of FESAC Cover

Reports Urge Stepped-Up Fusion Energy Investment

An influential Department of Energy advisory committee recommended the nation move aggressively toward the deployment of fusion energy, including investments in technology and equipment to support one of NIF’s core missions. Read more...


February 25, 2021

Photo of COVID-19 Sign

COVID-19 Protocols Keep NIF on Track

The health and safety protocols that let NIF resume experiments shortly after regional COVID-19 shelter-in-place directives took effect remain in place, helping NIF maintain a regular slate of experiments that are essential to national security. Read more...

HYDRA simulation of an ICF implosion with an imposed HDC shell thickness asymmetry

Study Reveals Cause of 3D Asymmetry

In a study published in Physical Review Letters, LLNL researchers illuminated how tiny imperfections in a high-density carbon capsule can grow into huge distortions, one of the principal causes of a significant degradation in ICF implosions at NIF. Read more...

Screenshot of NIF Virtual Tour

NIF-JLF User Groups Push Science Forward

At their annual meeting, leaders of the NIF and Jupiter Laser Facility user groups praised NIF and JLF staffs for keeping HED science experiments on track by overcoming the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more...

Photo of Dustin Froula

Former LLNL Scientist Wins E.O. Lawrence Award

Former LLNL scientist Dustin Froula, who helped develop what has become a transformational diagnostic at NIF, was recently honored with the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for his groundbreaking research on inertial confinement fusion and plasma sciences. Read more...

February 11, 2021

Photo of Control Room After

Remote Updates: Less Stress, More Efficiency

When much of LLNL’s workforce began working remotely due to COVID-19, NIF’s software team adjusted with changes that improved the efficiency, safety, and experience of control system upgrades.
Read more...

Artistic rendering of the interior structure of Earth compared to a large rocky exoplanet

Lab Team Uses Giant Lasers to Compress Iron Oxide

A research team led by LLNL used giant lasers to unlock the secrets of large rocky extrasolar planets by understanding the properties of iron oxide at extreme pressures and temperatures. The results were published in Nature Geoscience. Read more...

February 9, 2021

Components used in the experiments alongside a schematic of the flyer plate geometry

Lab Develops New Method for Probing Material Strength

To better understand how materials deform under extreme conditions, LLNL researchers have developed a new experimental method for probing large-strain and high-rate material strength. Read more...

February 8, 2021

Photo of Quahhar Fletcher

Virtual LLNL Day Reaches Out to HBCUs

A virtual “LLNL Day” reached out to students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to share the Lab’s culture and encourage interest in internships and jobs. Read more...

Book cover of Sol-Gel Derived Optical and Photonic Materials

Book Highlights Sol-Gel Processing’s Impact on Optics and Photonic Materials

LLNL scientists Tayyab Suratwala, Pam Whitman, and Marcus Monticelli wrote the first chapter of a just-released book, Sol-Gel Derived Optical and Photonic Materials. Read more...


January 27, 2021

An artist’s rendering of 55 Cancri e, a carbon-rich exoplanet

NIF Experiments Probe Carbon at Record Pressures

An international team of researchers led by LLNL and the University of Oxford successfully measured carbon at pressures reaching five times the pressure in Earth’s core. The results were reported in Nature.
Read more...

January 26, 2021

Artist drawing of first-ever shot with explosives

NIF Conducts First-Ever Shot with Explosives

The first-ever shot to study a high explosive sample was recently conducted at NIF. The results from the shot included novel data that will help researchers unlock the mysteries of high-explosive chemistry.
Read more...

January 22, 2021

Artist drawing offull extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) sample, backlighter, and laser configuration

Researchers Develop Broadband X-Ray Source

LLNL researchers have developed a new x-ray source that can diagnose temperatures in experiments at NIF that probe conditions like those at the center of planets. Read more...

Photo of Peter Celliers

Experimentalist Climbing Ranks of Physics Society

LLNL experimentalist Peter Celliers is on the path to lead a national topical group of the American Physical Society. Read more...

Virtual map of APS-Division of Plasma Physics conference

NIF Talks Highlight Virtual Physics Conference

LLNL researchers have developed a new x-ray source that can diagnose temperature in experiments at NIF that probe conditions like those at the very center of planets. Read more...

Glassdoor 2021 Best Places to Work Graphic

Find a Rewarding Career at NIF

LLNL was again honored with a Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Award, recognizing the Best Places to Work in 2021. If you or someone you know would like to join our team at NIF, check out our newly redesigned Careers page. Read more...


December 16, 2020

Artistic rendering of an aspirational future automated production process for custom gradient refractive index optics

3D-Printed Glass Enhances Optical Design Flexibility

LLNL researchers have used multi-material 3D printing to create tailored glass optics that could make novel optics for future laser and optical systems, military specialized eyewear, and virtual reality goggles.
Read more...

Photo of Kelli Humbird

Texas A&M Honors LLNL Physicist

Texas A&M University honored LLNL physicist Kelli Humbird with its 2020-21 Young Former Student award for her work combining machine learning with ICF research. Read more...

Photo of target with a drive hohlraum and VISAR

Measuring Extreme Temperatures

This target, hohlraum, and VISAR diagnostic cone go from 400 degrees below zero Fahrenheit to about 4 million °F in a few billionths of a second. Learn why in our photo gallery. Read more...

Photo of Target Chamber

Approaching “Burning Plasma”

Science magazine reports on how new target designs, laser pulse shapes, and better diagnostics are bringing NIF researchers closer to a milestone known as “burning plasma” (external link). Read more...

December 3, 2020

Screenshot of Laser Video

Video: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Laser

Our video explores how lasers have dramatically impacted our lives and how researchers at LLNL and NIF use them to push the boundaries of science and technology. Read more...

Photo of Ruby Supercomputer

Newest ‘Ruby’ Supercomputer Helps NIF, NNSA, and COVID-19 Research

LLNL’s newest high performance computing cluster will support NIF’s inertial confinement fusion experiments, perform functions for the NNSA, and boost the Lab’s COVID-19 research. Read more...


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