Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



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August 11, 2022

Spotlight on:

Experimental Highlights


Peer-Reviewed Papers Highlight Results of NIF’s Record Results

The scientific results of NIF’s record 1.35 megajoule experiment have been published in three peer-reviewed papers, one in Physical Review Letters and two in Physical Review E. Read more...


Abstract art with laser tips

Beaming with Excellence

In 1972, LLNL created a unified laser program, enabling research that has led to a major fusion milestone. Science & Technology Review magazine’s cover story looks back at 50 years of history. Read more...

This view from the bottom of the NIF Target Chamber shows the target positioner being inserted

Automated Software Optimized NIF Shot Efficiency

NIF experiments used to rely on a measurement technique called long-delay backlighter. As technologies and requirements evolved, a new technique was born: fiber-delay backlighter. Read more...

August 4, 2022

TLmodels080422

Machine Learning Approach to ICF Wins Top Award

A nuclear and plasma sciences group honored an LLNL team for their work applying machine learning to inertial confinement fusion research that could predict future NIF experiments. Read more...

July 2022

Carl Haussmann and John Emmett working on lasers in 1973

Video: 50 Years of LLNL Lasers

We’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of LLNL’s laser programs into one division, which enabled cutting-edge research in inertial confinement fusion and high energy density science. Read more...

DPAL betaThe new beta DPAL laser architecture

DPAL Team on Mission to Build Diode-Pumped Laser

The team of scientists, researchers, engineers, and technicians who work on LLNL’s unique diode-pumped alkali laser are dedicated to their mission to enhance the nation’s safety and security. Read more...

LLNL physicist Debbie Callahan

Physicist Debbie Callahan Receives Fusion Award

The Fusion Power Associates Board of Directors has selected LLNL physicist Debbie Callahan as a recipient of its 2022 Leadership Award for her work designing targets for NIF. Read more...

NIF’s Tom Kohut with Tiffany Barnett

Safety Society Honors NIF’s Tom Kohut

The San Francisco Chapter of the American Society of Safety Professionals honored NIF’s Tom Kohut with the organization’s “Managers Who Get Safety” award. Read more...

Schematic of an IFE Power Plant

Workshop Examines Inertial Fusion Energy Research

More than 300 researchers and supporters gathered virtually to explore the science, technology, and investments needed to realize inertial fusion energy’s potential as a source of safe, clean energy. Read more...

Spider-Inspired Technology Aids in Laser Fusion

Spider-Inspired Technology Inside NIF

In this edition of “Inside the Lab,” see how LLNL’s engineers and scientists are taking a cue from nature and working with a breakthrough material to get us closer to achieving fusion ignition. Read more...

A group that included the 100,000th visitor to NIF pose in front of the Target Chamber

NIF Welcomes 100,000th Visitor

When the 100,000th visitor to NIF walked through the door last month, there were no bells or whistles. But it was a monumental moment.
Read more...

NIF line-replaceable target inserter cryostat in a test vessel

LLNL Helping Create Cryo Target for French Laser

LLNL researchers are collaborating with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission to help develop a cryogenic target system for the CEA’s Laser Mégajoule. Read more...

June 2022

Image of laser shock wave

New Data on Nitrogen Compression Benefits NIF

New thermodynamic data on warm dense nitrogen might help unlock some of the mysteries regarding the behavior of hydrogen molecules in the early stages of ICF implosions at NIF. Read more...

A group of former Early and Mid-Career Recognition Award recipients smiles for the camera in a meeting room

Delivering Exceptional Promise

Science & Technology Review magazine profiled several LLNL Early and Mid-Career Recognition Award recepients, including physicist Hui Chen and scientist Félicie Albert. Read more...

Kelli Humbird

Kelli Humbird ‘Rides the Horse She is On’

Design physicist Kelli Humbird’s work on machine learning has helped advance ICF research at NIF. Learn more about her personal passion for horses in the latest edition of Spotlight magazine. Read more...

Cover of Advanced Optical Materials

Big Advance in Metasurfaces for AR Coatings

LLNL researchers have reported a significant advance in broadband antireflective (AR) coatings applied to optics using nanostructure metasurface technology. Read more...

Video Screenshot From How Diamonds Bring Us Closer to Fusion Ignition

Video: How Diamonds Are Used for Nuclear Fusion

Inside the Lab takes a look inside NIF target capsules, which use nanoscopic diamond technology to make a huge difference in some of the world’s most energetic fusion experiments. View video...

Experimental layout of a D-T gamma-to-neutron branching ratio experiment

Key Measurement for ICF Experiments Updated

LLNL researchers have refined the measurement of the gamma-to-neutron branching ratio in deuterium-tritium fusion reactions.
Read more...

GIF showing a laser in action

NIF’s Guide to How Lasers Work

From the experts at the world’s most energetic laser, NIF’s Guide to How Lasers Work breaks down what goes into generating, amplifying, and focusing a laser beam. Read more...

May 2022

Illustration of an atom

New Facility Will Help Unlock Plutonium’s Secrets

A new plutonium target fabrication facility at LLNL will help improve our understanding of plutonium, a vital aspect of maintaining the reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. Read more...

NIF Cryogenic Target

Photo: NIF Cryogenic Target

This photo, which first appeared in a Nature cover story, shows the type of target used to reach the burning plasma state in a lab experiment at NIF. To learn more, go to our Photo Gallery page. Read more...

April 2022

Graphic showing target used in high-yield NIF experiments

Hurricane Outlines Steps to NIF’s Fusion Milestone

In an International Atomic Energy Agency webinar, ICF Chief Scientist Omar Hurricane described the process that led to the ground-breaking NIF experiment on Aug. 8, 2021. Read more...

Graphic showing an Electron Backscatter Diffraction map

Researchers Focus on Tantalum’s Strength

Researchers from LLNL, LANL, and Sandia teamed to better understand the strength of tantalum using conditions accessed by NIF and Sandia’s Z machine. Read more...

Science on Saturday

Science on Saturday: Harnessing Nuclear Fusion

Video: LLNL scientists Derek Mariscal and Dave Schlossberg presented a recent Science on Saturday session on “Bringing Star Power to Earth: Harnessing Nuclear Fusion.” Read more...

Photo of Yanto Mualim and Jerry Wheeler

Mentoring Program Creates Career Growth Rewards

An LLNL Engineering ombudsman supporting NIF&PS is “paying it forward” by mentoring a fellow Lab employee. Both have found the relationship beneficial. Read more...

March 2022

Screenshot of LLNL Director Kim Budil moderating the opening panel of White House Fusion Summit

White House Summit Celebrates Fusion Milestones

NIF’s breakthrough experiment last August factored heavily in the discussions during a recent White House summit on fusion energy milestones and a “bold” 10-year plan for commercialization. Read more...

Photo of precision machinist Alan Ma

Precision Applied to Machining Operations Move

Machining operations for Target Fabrication were upgraded and consolidated without missing a minute of the continuous work of designing and delivering targets to the world’s largest laser. Read more...

Photo of Hye-Sook Park and Natalia Zaitseva

Shining a Light on Technical Excellence

Physicist Hye-Sook Park and materials scientist Natalia Zaitseva are members of LLNL’s Distinguished Member of Technical Staff (DMTS), the highest technical staff level achievable at the Lab. Read more...

Photo of Mary Spaeth, Tony Ruggiero, and Natalia Zaitseva

3 Named to LLNL Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame

Natalia Zaitseva, Mary Spaeth, and the late Tony Ruggiero have been inducted into the LLNL’s Entrepreneurs’ Hall of Fame. Read more...

Screenshot of virtual presentation by NIF & Photon Science Principal Associate Director Jeff Wisoff

2022 NIF and JLF User Groups Meeting

At this year’s meeting of the NIF and JLF user groups, facility leaders cited a number of HED science successes amid the challenges of the pandemic. Read more...

Illustration of a Holographic Plasma Lens

Holographic Plasma Lenses for High-Power Lasers

Livermore researchers and their colleagues are exploring ways to build laser optics from plasma—a charged mixture of ions and free electrons—to overcome limits imposed by conventional solid optics. Read more...

Video showing 3D radiation magneto-hydrodynamic FLASH simulation

NIF Helps Study Galaxy-Cluster Plasmas

New research just published in Science Advances details how an international team of scientists turned to NIF to help unravel the inner workings of heat conduction in clusters of galaxies—the largest structures in the universe. Read more...

Photo of Researcher Working in MEC Hutch

LLNL Constructing High-Power Laser at SLAC

LLNL’s decades of leadership in developing high-energy lasers is being tapped to provide a key component of a major upgrade to SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory’s Linac Coherent Light Source. Read more...

Graphic summarizing some of the major requirements of an inertial fusion energy reactor

Prospects and Challenges for Inertial Fusion Energy

Excitement and optimism tempered by warnings against unrealistic expectations were the themes emerging from an LLNL-sponsored workshop on the potential for inertial confinement fusion energy.
Read more...

Image of the reduction of stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) backscatter

Controlling Backscatter Damage to NIF Optics

A Physics of Plasmas paper by LLNL physicist Joseph Ralph and scientist Andreas Kemp focused on an approach to controlling Stimulated Brillouin scattering damage to NIF optics. Read more...

Photo of James Mitrani

Thermonuclear Fusion in a Sheared-Flow Z-Pinch

Research led by LLNL physicists has proven the existence of neutrons produced through thermonuclear reactions from a sheared-flow stabilized Z-pinch device. Read more...

Photo of Saskia Mordijck, Kathryn Hulick, Arturo Dominguez, and Tammy Ma

NIF Expert Helps Shape Book Imagining the Future

NIF’s Tammy Ma helped shape a chapter in a new book imagining life on Earth in the not-so-distant future when fusion-generated electricity flows from a “trapped star.” Read more...

Image of the reduction of stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) backscatter

Understanding Hot-Spot Conditions at NIF

Research conducted at LLNL describes a validation exercise for simple models used to understand hot-spot conditions reached in an implosion at NIF. Read more...


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