Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

September 20, 2023

Spotlight on:

Papers & Presentations

Understanding Plasticity of Diamond for Improved Fusion Ignition

A study published in the journal Matter investigates the evolution of plasticity in diamond, which is important for high-energy-density experiments on high-energy laser systems such as NIF. Read more...

LLNL’s Wren Carr and Peter DeVore

Two Lab Physicists Named SPIE Senior Members

LLNL’s Wren Carr and Peter DeVore were elected as senior members of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. Read more...

The geometry of a tokamak with a single-null divertor, which will be addressed as part of the ABOUND project

Fusion Plasma Project Awarded $9.25 Million

An LLNL-led project aimed at using computing tools to improve understanding of fusion plasma dynamics was awarded DOE funding to accelerate fusion power plant development. Read more...

Illustration of the transportable Thomson scattering diagnostic developed at LLNL

Portable Optical Thomson Scattering Diagnostic

LLNL scientists collaborated with UC San Diego to design a portable optical Thomson scattering diagnostic system to support ARPA-E’s fusion energy ventures. Read more...

August 23, 2023

Summer Scholar Program intern Joe Henderson explains his poster entry

Summer Scholar Program Celebrates a Record Year

The NIF&PS Summer Scholar Program had a record year in 2023—and it’s directly related to LLNL’s fusion ignition milestone last December. Read more...

LLNL intern Elias Anwar

Intern Follows Lifelong Passion for Science to LLNL

The NIF&PS Summer Scholar Program intern Elias Anwar has long considered science a perfect fit for his logic-driven mind and personality. Read more...

Summer Scholar Ashleigh Wilson

Summer Scholar Wants to Inspire Other Students

Summer Scholar Ashleigh Wilson once thought she’d become an accountant. Now the Norfolk State Ph.D. candidate has just wrapped up her second year as a NIF&PS summer intern. Read more...

LLNL intern Danny Attiyah, right, and his mentor Andrew Longman at the Jupiter Laser Facility

A Passion for Physics Drives NIF Summer Intern

Danny Attiyah was initially drawn to math, but became hooked on physics. This summer, the third-year Ph.D. student at UC Irvine is at LLNL testing physics simulations he developed. Read more...

NIF&PS intern Mary Ann Cahoon

Mary Ann Cahoon, NIF&PS Summer Scholar

Clemson University Ph.D. student Mary Ann Cahoon is spending the summer learning at the intersection of chemistry and glass optical fiber fabrication. Read more...

Special Report: The Age of Ignition

Fusion Ignition Logo

Star Power: Blazing the Path to Fusion Ignition

Part 1: After 12 years of sustained and often frustrating effort and hundreds of experiments, LLNL achieved ignition. The first in a series of articles describing the elements of the breakthrough. Read more...

Graphic Comparison of Key Experimental Parameters

Precise Changes Yield Historic Results

Part 2: Fusion ignition came from a steady evolution of experimental designs, with continuous improvements in diagnostic, optics, and simulation technology, target quality, and the energy and reliability of NIF’s lasers. Read more...

WCI team member adjusts the Cryo XNBS

Ignition Experiment Advances Stockpile Stewardship

Part 3: When scientists at LLNL achieved fusion ignition at NIF, the primary mission and driving goal behind the experiment was stockpile stewardship science. Read more...

Diagram of laser pulse

Laser Power and Finesse Drove Ignition Success

Part 4: To achieve fusion ignition, NIF’s laser system needed to operate flawlessly at both ends of the performance spectrum, delivering immense energies while controlling the energy balance with extreme precision Read more...

The new FSDS optic is processed through the Advanced Mitigation Process

Optics Meet Demands of Increased Laser Energy

Part 5: Hardening NIF’s optics to withstand ever-increasing laser energy and the debris caused by experiments was another key to achieving ignition. Read more...

A high-resolution 3D HYDRA capsule simulation

Computing Codes Helped Make Ignition Possible

Part 6: For hundreds of physicists, computer scientists, and code developers who have worked on fusion for decades, computer simulations have been inexorably tied to LLNL’s quest for ignition.

NIF Target Area operator services the Dante diagnostic

Diagnostics Were Crucial to Historic Ignition Shot

Part 7: The data collected from NIF diagnostics—specialized, state-of-the-art measuring instruments—played an essential role in LLNL’s ignition milestone. Read more...

Technician Silverio Diaz assembling a target

Target Evolution Is a Key to NIF’s Continued Success

Part 8: The targets used in NIF experiments are marvels of engineering, but to ultimately exceed LLNL’s milestone ignition shot, an even higher level of perfection may be needed. Read more...

Final Optics Damage Inspection (FODI) system

NIF Sustainment: Ensuring the Next 20 Years

Part 9: Having blazed the path to fusion ignition at NIF, LLNL researchers and their collaborators are now making plans for sustained, and even higher, nuclear yields to enable and expand applications for stockpile stewardship and basic science research. Read more...

Graphic showing integrated supercomputer and NIF technologies

HPC, AI, CogSim Helped LLNL Conquer Ignition

Part 10: For hundreds of LLNL scientists on the design, experimental, and modeling and simulation teams behind ICF experiments at NIF, the results of the now-famous Dec. 5, 2022, ignition shot didn’t come as a complete surprise. Read more...

Ignition in the News

Fusion Ignition News Thrusts LLNL into the Zeitgeist

Part 11: From “60 Minutes” to “SNL,” LLNL’s ignition achievement at NIF made big news that reached audiences around the world. For months afterward, hardly a day went by without a story published somewhere mentioning the milestone. Read more...

HHMA manager Stephen Moyle holding the target stalk used in the Dec. 5 experiment

Meet the People Behind the Scenes of Ignition Shot

Part 12: LLNL’s fusion ignition achievement came thanks to the essential contributions of hundreds of Lab employees who work diligently behind the scenes and often out of public view. Here are profiles of just a few of those key workers. Read more...

August 16, 2023

Tammy Ma and Jeff Hittinger celebrate their James Corones Awards

LLNL Corones Award Winners Celebrated

LLNL physicist Tammy Ma and computational scientist Jeff Hittinger were recently celebrated for winning the Krell Institute’s James Corones Award in Leadership, Community Building, and Communication. Read more...

August 9, 2023

LLNL scientists David Gibson and Paul Pax

Two LLNL Scientists Named Optica Senior Members

LLNL scientists David Gibson and Paul Pax were named Optica senior members, which recognizes a decade or more of professional experience in optics or an optics-related field. Read more...

Daniel Casey and Gauthier Deblonde

Daniel Casey Receives DOE Early Career Award

NIF&PS physicist Daniel Casey and Physical and Life Sciences chemist Gauthier Deblonde received the Energy Department’s Early Career Research Program award. Read more...

July 26, 2023

NIF Senior Scientist John Lindl

Laser Fusion Pioneer Celebrates 50 Years at LLNL

NIF Senior Scientist John Lindl, who was instrumental in launching LLNL’s successful effort to achieve fusion ignition, has been recognized for his five decades of service at the Laboratory. Read more...

Defense Programs Awards 2023

Defense Programs Award of Excellence

The NNSA honored a team of LLNL multidisciplinary experts for the Aug. 8, 2021 experiment at NIF that exceeded Lawson’s criterion for nuclear fusion. Read more...

Brightly multi-colored circle on a dark blue background

CASC Contributions to Fusion Ignition

LLNL’s Center for Applied Scientific Computing (CASC)—“siblings of a sort” with NIF—has made many contributions to making controlled laboratory fusion ignition possible. Read more...

July 12, 2023

Tammy Ma

Tammy Ma: Paying It Forward Paid Career Dividends

As an LLNL summer intern, Tammy Ma received valuable advice that she has continued to follow throughout her exceptional career as an experimental plasma physicist at LLNL. Read more...

Ten minutes into the Moab 240 Endurance Race, Justin Galbraith is all smiles

Spotlight on Justin Galbraith: Finding Balance

NIF&PS Mechanical engineer Justin Galbraith tests his physical boundaries by participating in ultramarathon trail runs, multi-day races of 30 to 200 miles through challenging terrain. Read more...

July 5, 2023

Extrasolar Planets

Experimental Platform Will Probe Warm Dense Matter

A new experimental platform on NIF promises to deliver precise measurements of the characteristics of warm dense matter, which is present in the interior of planets and ICF experiments. Read more...

Nathan Ray holding a 5-centimeter metasurface optic

Researchers Refine Optics Metasurface Process

Optics researchers at LLNL have refined their novel metasurface process, an advance that unlocks exciting new design possibilities for NIF and other advanced laser systems. Read more...

June 21, 2023

Calling the shot presentation slide

How AI Predicted Fusion Ignition Before It Happened

The Data Science Institute hosted a seminar by LLNL researchers Kelli Humbird and Luc Peterson on how AI predicted ignition before it happened. Read more...

Bruno Van Wonterghem

Safety Society Honors NIF Operations Manager

The American Society of Safety Professionals, San Francisco Chapter, awarded NIF Operations Manager Bruno Van Wonterghem with the “Managers Who Get Safety” award. Read more...

June 14, 2023

We Are Telly Winners Logo

Telly Awards Honor Two LLNL Videos

The 44th Annual Telly Awards honored LLNL with five awards for two videos that helped announce the Lab’s fusion ignition achievement and visualize how experiments happen at NIF. Read more...

June 7, 2023

LLNL Deputy Laser Safety Officer Hayden Johnson shows the NIF&PS educational outreach 3-laser demo to fellow attendees at the 2023 International Laser Safety Conference

Laser Safety Protocols Contributed to Historic Shot

NIF’s long-established level of attention to laser safety over the years laid a foundation for LLNL’s historic achievement of fusion ignition.

May 31, 2023

Introduction to Laser-Plasma Interactions

Physicist Authors Laser-Plasma Interactions Book

LLNL physicist Pierre Michel has authored a newly published textbook on laser-plasma interactions that is being called “indispensable” for graduate students and researchers. Read more...

Issa Tamer

Video: Meet Laser Physicist Issa Tamer

As a high school student, Issa Tamer knew he liked science, but wasn’t sure what discipline to pursue. That changed when he happened to see the Wikipedia page for NIF. Read more...

Members of the HELD Team With Their Gratings

Optics for Petawatt Pulses

Science & Technology magazine: LLNL researchers received an R&D 100 Award for devising high-energy, low-dispersion (HELD) diffraction gratings that can withstand higher laser energies. Read more...

May 24, 2023

Illustration of NIF experiment generating extreme compressions for pressure-driven ionization

Nature: Pressure-Driven Ionization in Giant Planets

Just published in Nature: An international research team conducted experiments at NIF that offer important implications for astrophysics and nuclear fusion research. Read more...

May 15, 2023

Ignition group shot main

Hundreds Gather to Celebrate Fusion Achievement

DOE and NNSA officials, members of Congress, past Lab directors, employees, and partners gathered on May 8 to celebrate the Lab’s fusion ignition achievement. Read more...

Ignition celebration

Ignition Day Celebration Photos

Here are photos from LLNL’s May 8 celebration of the Lab’s achievement of fusion ignition. Read more...

Tammy Ma

Krell Institute Honors LLNL Physicist Tammy Ma

The Krell Institute has awarded LLNL physicist Tammy Ma with its 2023 James Corones Award in Leadership, Community Building, and Communication. Read more...

Interior of the NIF target chamber under blue light

Automated Software Optimizes NIF Shot Efficiency

Automation of the fiber-delay backlighter (FDBL) diagnostic technique has reduced the execution time for NIF experiments and allows for the optimization of shot scheduling. Read more...

May 4, 2023

2023 NIF-JLF User Groups Attendees

NIF and JLF User Groups Look Beyond Ignition

Attendees at this year’s NIF and JLF User Groups Meeting celebrated LLNL’s fusion ignition breakthrough at NIF, but also kept their focus on the bright future of HED science research. Read more...

April 24, 2023

Cutaway Image of Jupiter

Physicists Unravel Warm Dense Matter

Two LLNL physicists joined colleagues from institutions in Germany, Sweden, and the UK as co-authors of a recent Physics of Plasmas paper summarizing current research on warm dense matter. Read more...

Artist conception of a super-Earth with the NIF target chamber superimposed. Credit: John Jett

Iron Under Extremes

Science & Technology Review: LLNL scientists have performed a series of experiments through NIF’s Discovery Science Program to replicate the extreme conditions within super-Earth cores. Read more...

April 19, 2023

Photo of Elizabeth Grace

Lab Scientist Wins Springer Thesis Award

Elizabeth Grace, an LLNL High Energy Density Science (HEDS) Center fellow, has won a 2023 Springer Thesis Award for her work on a diagnostic instrument called ‘STRIPED FISH’ for NIF. Read more...

Alison Christopherson

LLNL’s Christopherson, Pak Elected Kavli Fellows

LLNL staff scientists Alison Christopherson and Art Pak have been elected Kavli Fellows of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

April 13, 2023

Schematic of the Experimental Setup

Beyond Diamond: Seeking Elusive Phase of Carbon

Researchers are using NIF’s unique capabilities in a renewed experimental campaign to confirm elusive post-diamond phases of carbon, which would be a material science breakthrough. Read more...

Innovation Tri-Valley Awards Presentation

Time Names LLNL Physicist Top 100 Most Influential

Time named physicist Annie Kritcher one of the world’s 100 most influential people for her role as the principal designer of LLNL’s historic Dec. 5, 2022, fusion ignition shot at NIF. Read more...

Innovation Tri-Valley Awards Presentation

Ignition Team Receives ‘Game Changers’ Award

A collective of regional business and civic leaders in the Tri-Valley has honored LLNL’s fusion ignition team members for their “game-changing” breakthrough. Read more...

April 12, 2023

NAS HEDS report

Report on HED Science Includes LLNL Contributions

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a report identifying key challenges and questions facing the field of HED science and facilities like NIF during the upcoming decade. Read more...

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