Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



June 4, 2020

Spotlight on:

Papers and Presentations


Researchers Develop Novel Antireflective Metasurface for Laser Optics

LLNL scientists have discovered a new method to add an antireflective metasurface layer on laser optics glass. The layer’s so durable, it can survive getting “smooshed.” The technique represents a substantial advancement that could benefit NIF and a wide range of lasers and imaging optics. Read more...


Photo of Technician as he assembles a TARDIS Diagnostic

NIF’s TARDIS Featured in Review of Scientific Instruments

A paper describing the design and performance of a workhorse NIF experimental platform known as TARDIS (target diffraction in situ) was a featured in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments. Read more...

Photo of LLNL laser physicist Félicie Albert

Light Experiments at Home With a Laser Physicist

LLNL laser physicist Félicie Albert demonstrates a fun science experiment you can do at home to learn about a cool property of light called refraction. She also shares her journey to NIF.
View video...

Photo of 2014 Nature Cover

A Look Back: NIF Experiments Peer Into Giant Planets

We look back to 2014 when a Nature cover story reported on the first time LLNL scientists experimentally recreated conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter and Saturn. Read more...


May 12, 2020

Photo in the Target Bay

Experiments Resume at the National Ignition Facility

NIF has resumed mission-critical experiments after LLNL reduced operations in March due to COVID-19. These experiments are essential for support of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Stockpile Stewardship Program. Read more...

Graphic of brown dwarf

New Insights into NIF Implosions, ‘Failed Stars’

LLNL and LANL researchers developed an innovative technique for diagnosing the properties of plasma created during ICF implosions. The results could inform NIF’s pursuit of ignition, provide new clues to the makeup of enigmatic brown dwarfs known as “failed stars.” Read more...

Photo showing fill-tube assembly

Researchers Explore New Angles for Fill-Tubes

Published research explores several methods that could diminish the negative effects of the fill tubes used to inject fusion fuel into the capsules used for inertial confinement fusion experiments on NIF.
Read more...

Graphic simulating laser interacting with the melt pool and metal powder particles

Lab’s Plan to Reduce Defects in 3D Metal Printing

LLNL researchers have discovered a strategy for reducing or even eliminating defects in parts built through a common, laser-based metal 3D-printing process. Read more...

Photo of Tammy Ma

Super-Fast Lasers to Revolutionize Physics

High-energy density physics “are on the cusp of a complete paradigm shift,” says NIF’s Tammy Ma. Here’s how high-rep-rate experimental lasers will become the heart of “knowledge factories.” Read more...

Photo of Leland Ellison

Learning (@Home) With Leland

As a computational physicist, Leland Ellison uses the world’s second largest computer to simulate what happens at NIF. In this YouTube video, he takes you through some fun physics demonstrations you can do while staying at home (link opens external site). Read more...


April 16, 2020

Photo of Joe Spears with CyberPatriots

NIF Software Engineer Soars with Civil Air Patrol

Joe Spears is a software developer for NIF, but in his spare time, he’s a volunteer coach for student teams that compete to thwart computer security hackers. He hopes to inspire K-12 students toward careers in cybersecurity that are critical to national security. Read more...

Photo of visiting Modesto students and teachers

Middle School Students Discover STE(A)M at NIF

An eighth-grade class from Modesto visited NIF in February as part of a pilot STE(A)M (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics)-Day-at-the-Lab program to reach more middle school students. We also have video of their reaction to witnessing a NIF experiment. Read more...

BBC photo from Dr. Who with TARDIS booth

A Look Back: NIF’s TARDIS Conquers Time, Space

A NIF&PS News Classic: In “Dr. Who,” the TARDIS is a police call box that lets Dr. Who travel through time and space. NIF’s own TARDIS lets researchers “visit” giant planets and helps counter the effects of time on critical nuclear weapon components. Read more...

Image of COVID-19 Virus

LLNL in Reduced Mission-Critical Operations Mode

Limited work has resumed at LLNL in support of specific mission-essential activities related to national security responsibilities. In addition, a small number of employees are working on COVID-19-related projects. Read more...


March 31, 2020

NASA illustration of a gamma-ray burst

ARC Experiment’s ‘Pleasant Surprise’

NIF’s Advanced Radiographic Capability (ARC) laser can accelerate electrons to relativistic energy levels previously expected only from higher-intensity lasers, opening new frontiers of lab science into relativistic plasma physics. Read more...

Images of Damage on Sapphire Samples

New Etching Process Doubles Sapphire Optics’ Damage Resistance and Strength

A novel chemical process designed to protect NIF’s fused-silica optics from laser damage has been modified to provide the same benefit for sapphire optics, wafers, windows, and cones. Read more...

Image of COVID-19 Virus

NIF in Minimum Safe Operations Mode

While NIF has transitioned to a minimum safe operations posture to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, a small number of LLNL employees remain on site to support select mission-critical activities, including work to fight the pandemic. Read more...


March 11, 2020

Photo of Target Area Operator Bill Board removing a neutron imager snout

Nuclear Diagnostics Help Pave Way to Ignition

To help meet the challenge of understanding exactly what’s happening in a NIF implosion under extreme conditions, LLNL and its partner labs and universities have designed and built an extensive suite of nuclear diagnostics. Read more...

Photo from LLNL physicists at Photonics West

New Ways to Diagnose NIF Laser Performance

At Photonics West, LLNL physicists outlined two techniques to diagnose NIF’s laser performance at full energy and power during ignition-relevant conditions. Read more...

Photo from Women of NIF 2020 cover

Women of NIF 2020

Here are updated profiles of 35 women who are helping to ensure U.S. security & scientific leadership in chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, material science, math, computer science, robotics, and more. Read more...

Screenshot from NIF and Jupiter Laser Facility User Group Video

Video: NIF-JLF User Group 2020 Meeting

In this video from the 2020 NIF and Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) User Group meeting, we ask attendees to tell us why the annual conference is important for their work and for the exciting future of high energy density science. Read more...


February 26, 2020

Photo from NIF and Jupiter Laser Facility User Group

NIF-JLF User Group Celebrates HED Science

Here are highlights and photos from the annual NIF and Jupiter Laser Facility User Group meeting, where researchers reviewed recent experiments, previewed upcoming campaigns, and learned about what’s new at both LLNL facilities. Read more...

Photo of Brandi Lechleiter

Brandi Lechleiter: Process Improvement Sparks Joy

Customized procedures, ever-changing processes, rigor, and paperwork — what might seem tedious to some sparks joy for Brandi Lechleiter, NIF classified operations assistant. Read more...

Photo of Jamie King

NIF’s Jamie King Elected to Laser Institute Board

LLNL and NIF & Photon Science certified laser safety officer Jamie King was elected to the Laser Institute’s board, expanding his role as an advocate for higher industry safety standards worldwide.
Read more...

Photo of a student looking at a NIF target

Soaring Eagles Visit NIF to Ignite Interest in STEM

A group of Native American middle and high school students toured NIF and met Native American employees who play important roles in moving the world forward through science and technology. Read more...

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