Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



July 29, 2020

Spotlight on:

Experimental Highlights


Scientists Encouraged by Initial Frustraum Experiments at NIF

Initial NIF experiments using a full-scale version of the Frustraum hohlraum have produced nearly round ICF implosions and greater energy absorption. Read more...


Photo of Federica Coppari

DOE Honors HED Scientist With Early Career Award

Physicist Federica Coppari, whose work on large laser facilities like NIF helped lead to the discovery of the atomic structure of superionic ice, was one of two LLNL scientists honored with an Early Career Research Program award. Read more...

APS Logo

APS Honors Scientists for Plasma Physics Excellence

The American Physical Society honored three LLNL scientists with the 2020 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research, recognizing nearly a decade of work in laboratory astrophysics at NIF and other premier high energy laser facilities. Read more...

Screenshot of Dayne Fratanduono

Video: How Ramp Compression Works

NIF researchers put the extreme squeeze on critical materials machined to exacting specifications. In a video, physicist Dayne Fratanduono explains how it’s done. Read more...


July 9, 2020

Photo of Carolyn Hall

Lab BioSafety Officer Adapts to Pandemic

For 10 years, Carolyn Hall’s job has been about keeping the “bugs” inside laboratories. But at the start of this year, everything changed.
Read more...

Artist drawing of the experiment setup

Experimental Setup Could Boost Fusion Research

A team of researchers has developed a new experimental setup that could offer insights into the formation and evolution of planetary systems and guide NIF scientists hoping to harness nuclear fusion, which produces conditions similar to those in our sun. Read more...


July 8, 2020

Colorized image of a 2016 NIF Big Foot deuterium-tritium implosion

Plasma Science Report Highlights NIF

A plasma science report highlighted NIF’s progress toward fusion ignition and its contributions to stockpile stewardship and plasma physics research in the past decade. Read more...


July 4, 2020

Photo of NIF worker

Video: Thank You From NIF & Photon Science

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, we want to take a moment to thank all of you—our amazing workforce as well as our partners and colleagues around the world—for your energy, adaptability, and perseverance during this unprecedented time. Read more...


June 25, 2020

Image depicting a Manifold & Cyclically Consistent (MaCC) surrogate model

Deep Learning Surrogate Model Advances at NIF

New research says surrogate models supported by neural networks can perform as well as computationally expensive simulators, leading to new insights into complicated physics problems such as inertial confinement fusion. Read more...

Image of a supernova remnant

Measuring Supernova Magnetic Fields

LLNL scientists detailed the first quantitative measurements of the processes responsible for the formation of collisionless shocks, phenomena observed in the expansion of supernova explosions.
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June 11, 2020

Composite image of the Tycho Supernova remnant

Experiments at NIF Mimic Supernova Shock Waves

An international team of scientists from institutions including SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and LLNL have devised a new way to study the inner workings of astrophysical shock waves. Read more...


June 4, 2020

Photo of Technician as he assembles a TARDIS Diagnostic

New Antireflective Metasurface

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.” 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.
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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...

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