Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

March 23, 2023

Laser Focused: Power and Finesse Drove Fusion Ignition Success

Part 4 of a series: 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 (see The Age of Ignition for previous stories in this series). Read more...

NIF Chief Engineer for Laser Systems Jean-Michel Di Nicola answers questions at the 2023 SPIE Photonics West

Fusion Ignition a ‘Hot Topic’ at SPIE Photonics West

A standing-room-only crowd at the recent SPIE Photonics West convention listened raptly to a presentation about how fusion ignition was achieved at NIF. Read more...

Photo of control room during shot countdown

Computational Engineering a Key to Ignition Success

The Computational Engineering Division within LLNL’s Engineering Directorate is a critical but largely invisible element of the effort toward achieving nuclear fusion ignition. Read more...

Image of the Crab Nebula

NIF Shots Could Spark Astrophysics Discoveries

Scientists are studying the star-like environment created during NIF laser shots to better understand the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System’s potential as a testbed for nuclear astrophysics research.

Special Report: The Age of Ignition

Illustration of Laser-Driven ICF and Diagram of the Inertial Confinement Fusion Process

Star Power: Blazing the Path to Fusion Ignition

Part 1: After 12 years of sustained and often frustrating effort and hundreds of experiments, NIF 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...

March 9, 2023

Drew Willard, Brendan Reagan, and Issa Tamer work on the Tm:YLF laser system

LLNL’s ‘BAT Laser’ R&D Delivers Big Results

LLNL’s research and development of the Big Aperture Thulium (BAT) laser has been living up to its name, delivering big results in a small package. Read more...

March 6, 2023

Scientists Participate in IAEA Webinar

IAEA Webinar Explores NIF’s Ignition Breakthrough

The research leading to NIF’s fusion ignition milestone was described by Omar Hurricane, chief scientist for LLNL’s ICF program, in an International Atomic Energy Agency webinar. Read more...

March 1, 2023

Gordon Brunton

Gordon Brunton Named NIF Director

Gordon Brunton came to LLNL while taking a sabbatical from his previous job and stayed because of the Lab’s “unique environment.” Now, almost 19 years later, Brunton has been named NIF’s new director. Read more...

February 23, 2023

Bruno and Korbie Le Galloudec

NIF Couple Share Underwater Adventures

Spotlight: When they need to get away from it all, Bruno and Korbie Le Galloudec have a special place to escape to. It’s beautiful, serene, and filled with wondrous creatures. Read more...

Department of Energy logo

DOE Secretary Honors NIF Teams

NIF’s capsule gain team and fused silica debris shield (FSDS) implementation team won Department of Energy Secretary’s Honor Achievement Awards. Read more...

Glenn Fox

PLS Innovations That Enabled Fusion Breakthrough

Glenn Fox, Physical and Life Sciences associate director, highlights how the directorate’s staff played key roles in enabling LLNL to achieve a first-of-its kind demonstration of fusion ignition at NIF. Read more...

February 2, 2023

Inertial Fusion Energy Basic Research Needs Report Cover. Credit: Brian Chavez

U.S. Has ‘Unique Opportunity’ to Lead IFE Research

NIF’s recent scientific advances, including the achievement of fusion ignition, have increased interest among aspiring young scientists for the NIF&PS Summer Scholar Program. Read more...

Isabella Martinez, a NIF&PS summer intern, explains her poster symposium entry to physicist John Moody

NIF’s Gains Make Summer Internships Coveted

NIF’s recent scientific advances, including the achievement of fusion ignition, have increased interest among aspiring young scientists for the NIF&PS Summer Scholar Program. Read more...

Zhi Liao, the new NIF&PS workforce manager

Meet Zhi Liao, NIF’s Workforce Manager

Zhi Liao’s path from laser scientist to his new role as workforce manager for NIF&PS has come full circle—and is rooted in his early days at LLNL. Read more...

LLNL researches Teresa Bailey, Brent Blue, Elizabeth Wheeler and Lance Kim

NIF Physicist Named Oppenheimer Science Fellow

Brent Blue, NIF’s National Security Applications manager, is one of four LLNL scientists honored as Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program fellows. Read more...

‘Science on Saturday’ Logo with NIF Hohlraum

Fusion Talk Kicks Off ‘Science on Saturday’ Series

LLNL scientists Dave Schlossberg and Derek Mariscal present “Bringing Star Power to Earth: Harnessing Nuclear Fusion” Saturday, Feb. 4, at Las Positas College in Livermore. Read more...

Two students stand inside a model of the NIF target chamber inside the Discovery Center. Credit: Garry McLeod

Center Reopens With Target Chamber Model Update

LLNL’s Discovery Center reopened Feb. 1 with an updated model of NIF’s Target Chamber. Read more...

January 12, 2023

LLNL’s representatives who attended the Dec. 13 press conference at DOE headquarters in Washington, D.C., beam with pride in this group photo

LLNL Scientists Cheer Dawn of the ‘Era of Ignition’

NIF’s historic Dec. 5 fusion ignition experiment generated awe, pride, and bright optimism about the future among LLNL employees. Read more...

Doug and Corinne Larson

Ignition ‘True Believer’ Revisits 39 Years at LLNL

After an exciting and highly productive career, NIF Director Doug Larson has retired from LLNL. He played key roles in nearly every aspect of the construction and operation of NIF. Read more...

Bill Nye on CNN

Video: NIF in the News

We’ve compiled videos of TV and online news coverage of NIF’s ignition shot, including a “60 Minutes” segment and interviews with Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, and LLNL scientists. And there’s an unaired “Saturday Night Live” skit. View videos...

Objects printed using LLNL’s Tailored Glass Using Direct Ink Writing Technology

The Beauty of Additively Manufactured Optics

There’s never been a more exciting time to be working in additively manufactured glass, LLNL’s Rebecca Dylla-Spears said during a glass science and art webinar. Read more...

December 14, 2022

DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm announces Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s historic feat

NIF Achieves Fusion Ignition

The Energy Department and NNSA announced the achievement of fusion ignition on Dec. 5 at NIF, a major scientific breakthrough that will pave the way for advancements in national defense and the future of clean power. Read more...

LLNL Director Kim Budil discusses the pursuit of fusion on NIF

Historic Shot Heard ‘Round the World

NIF’s monumental, first-ever demonstration of fusion ignition was hailed as a potentially world-changing breakthrough and a key initial step in a decades-long quest for limitless clean energy. Read more...

DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm announces LLNL’s historic feat

VIDEO: Full DOE Press Conference

Watch the Dec. 13 press conference at U.S. Department of Energy headquarters announcing NIF’s historic fusion ignition breakthrough. Watch video...

LLNL experts discuss NIF’s fusion ignition breakthrough

VIDEO: LLNL Experts Panel

A panel of LLNL experts—Mark Herrmann, Alex Zylstra, Annie Kritcher, Jean-Michel Di Nicola, Michael Stadermann, Arthur Pak, and Tammy Ma—discuss NIF’s fusion ignition breakthrough. Watch video...

To create fusion ignition, NIF’s laser energy is converted into x-rays inside the hohlraum, which then compress a fuel capsule until it implodes, creating a high temperature, high pressure plasma

NIF Generating News Stories Around the World

NIF achieving ignition is generating news headlines around the world. You can find links to those stories on our In the News and In the News: Video pages. Read more...

December 13, 2022

NIF Pulsed Power Group Capstone Project students from University of California, Davis

College Students Learned Building Robots for NIF

A NIF program gave participating students valuable real-world experience building robots and strengthened LLNL’s pipelines to college engineering programs. Read more...

Click to Download Special Edition NIF Magazine

Reaching the Threshold of Ignition

NIF has been poised on the threshold of ignition since August 2021 when an experiment yielded a 1.35-megajoule milestone. Read more...

December 8, 2022

Model of Cryogenic Magnetized NIF Hohlraum

Magnetized Targets Boost Implosion Performance

By imbedding a target capsule in a strong magnetic field, inertial confinement fusion researchers have demonstrated a potential path to sustained high-energy-yield NIF implosions. Read more...

Burning Plasma Team Receives Award

NIF Talks Among Highlights at APS-DPP Conference

LLNL was well represented at the 64th American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics meeting, a largely in-person conference.

November 23, 2022

Félicie Albert and Craig Siders

NIF&PS Researchers Elected Optica Fellows

NIF & Photon Science researchers Félicie Albert and Craig Siders have been selected as fellows of Optica (formerly OSA). Read more...

November 17, 2022

LLNL’s Brian Spears (center) holds the HPCwire Editor’s Choice award for Best Use of HPC in Energy with LLNL computer scientists Peer-Timo Bremer (left) and Brian Van Essen

Applying Cognitive Simulation to ICF Wins Award

The high performance computing publication HPCwire’s Best Use of HPC in Energy Award goes to LLNL for applying cognitive simulation methods to inertial confinement fusion research at NIF. Read more...

November 16, 2022

Former NASA astronaut and former LLNL official Tammy Jernigan cuts the ribbon to dedicate ‘Dream Big’ mural

Astronauts Launch Mural with Recipes for Success

Four former NASA astronauts, including NIF’s Jeff Wisoff, dedicated a mural painted in their honor by sharing their life’s experiences, wisdom, and advice. Read more...

Laser Safety Officers Meet at DOE Workshop

Laser Safety Officers Convene for DOE Workshop

A workshop showcased how laser safety regulations such as ones developed at LLNL and NIF are helping to raise the standards at academic-based research facilities. Read more...

November 14, 2022

Artist’s rendition of ions streaming from a NIF hohlraum. Credit: John Jett

Ions Behave Differently in Fusion Reactions

Just published in Nature Physics: LLNL researchers discovered that ions behave differently in fusion reactions than previously expected, thus providing important insights for the future design of a laser–fusion energy source. Read more...

November 8, 2022

Beamline to Ignition Video

Video: ‘The Threshold of Ignition’

In this video, you can follow the journey of NIF’s laser beams as they dramatically increase in energy on their way to the center of the Target Chamber. Read more...

November 7, 2022

Illustration of NIF Beams Entering the Target Chamber

Shot Puts NIF Back on Track Toward Ignition

A record high-laser-energy NIF target shot on Sept. 19 produced about 1.2 million joules of fusion energy yield, putting NIF back on track toward ignition. Read more...

November 2, 2022

Quasar Jet

Black Holes, Astrophysical Plasmas Studied at NIF

NIF experiments are providing a unique opportunity for researchers to study black holes and astrophysical plasmas by creating states of matter at extreme conditions of temperature. Read more...

Caitlin Rowe

Meet Caitlin Rowe, LLNL’s Gold Star Intern

Caitlin Rowe has overcome overwhelming obstacles to excel as a college graduate, as a person, and as a Gold Star intern working on nuclear survivability experiments at NIF. Read more...


Bruce Remington Honored with APS Duvall Award

The American Physical Society honored NIF Discovery Science Program Leader Bruce Remington with the George Duvall Shock Compression Science Award. Read more...

Special Report: 30 Years of Stockpile Stewardship

Phil Pagoria synthesizes a new compound at the Energetic Materials Center, 1997

Keeping the Nuclear Stockpile Safe, Secure, Reliable

Part 1: NIF is the crown jewel of the Stockpile Stewardship Program, providing the only testbed capable of investigating high-energy density physics at regimes relevant to the thermonuclear range of conditions. Read more...

BlueGene/L simulation of turbulent thermonuclear burning in a type Ia supernova

Scientific Discovery for Stockpile Stewardship

Part 2: Stewardship science required developing more powerful high-performance computers and lasers capable of creating the most extreme states of matter on Earth. Read more...

David Heinrichs, Irene Yee, Teresa Bailey, Leslie Positeri, Kim Ferrari, Cynthia Nitta, Omar Hurricane, Rick Kraus and Brad Wallin

People of Stewardship Are the Key to LLNL’s Success

Part 3: All LLNL employees support the stewardship mission in one way or another—in scientific and engineering roles and in many more occupations. Read more...

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