Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



May 21, 2024

Spotlight on:

Efficiency Improvements


Machine Learning Optimizes High-Power Laser Experiments

An international team of scientists from LLNL, Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, and the Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI ERIC) collaborated on an experiment that used machine learning to optimize performance on the L3-HAPLS high-rep-rate laser, which was developed at LLNL. Read more...

JLF Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Jupiter Laser Facility Gets a Reboot

JLF helps to “deliver what we need for stockpile stewardship and Discovery Science,” NIF & Photon Science Principal Associate Director Jeff Wisoff said during the facility’s reopening celebration. Read more...

Fusion Ignition Simulation

Video: Igniting Scientific Discovery

LLNL’s ignition breakthrough at NIF was enabled by a combination of traditional fusion target design methods, world-class supercomputing, and artificial intelligence techniques. View video...

May 13, 2024

El Capitan’s “Early Delivery System” (EDS), LLNL’s newest unclassified supercomputer

World’s Most Powerful Supercomputers List

Three new systems currently or soon-to-be sited at LLNL, including one already used to model ICF experiments at NIF, debuted on the latest Top500 list of most powerful supercomputers in the world. Read more...

April 29, 2024

The cover of the comic book Ignition

Comic Book Tells the Story of Ignition

LLNL illustrator John Jett used comic book art as another method for explaining how a Lab experiment at NIF made history. Read more...

STEM Day Group Shot

STEM Day Students Tour NIF

LLNL hosted about 200 students and chaperones from the Central Valley for “STEM Day at the Lab,” which included a tour of NIF that was supported by 37 volunteers. Read more...

2D MARBL simulation of the Aug. 8, 2021, “Burning Plasma” shot at NIF

Video: Simulation of a Burning Plasma Shot at NIF

What does burning plasma look like? This simulation of a pivotal fusion experiment at NIF is an example of a next-generation multi-physics code that could advance high performance computing and engineering.
Read more...

Members of the HELD Team With Their Gratings

Celebrating World Intellectual Property Day

The NIF and Photon Science directorate has a strong portfolio of lasers and optics patents. Read more...

April 10, 2024

Ignition, displayed in a sign, figured prominently in the discussions at the NIF-JLF User Groups Meeting

Ignition Sets the Tone for NIF-JLF User Groups

Ignition took center stage at this year’s LLNL National Ignition Facility and Jupiter Laser Facility (NIF and JLF) User Groups Meeting. Read more...

Carolyn Albiston

Carolyn Albiston: A Modern Renaissance Woman

NIF Shot Data Systems software engineer Carolyn Albiston was curious about everything while growing up—sharks, fungi, the science of color—and about how different topics fit together. Read more...

April 3, 2024

LLNL’s Raspberry Simpson Named Kavli Fellow

LLNL’s Raspberry Simpson Named Kavli Fellow

Raspberry Simpson, a NIF&PS Directorate Lawrence Fellow, has been named a National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow. Read more...

April 2, 2024

Raspberry Simpson and Elizabeth Grace

Postdocs to Attend Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

Getting the chance to meet and mingle with scientists who have achieved Nobel Prize winning greatness will be the reality for five LLNL postdoctoral appointees, including Raspberry Simpson and Elizabeth Grace of NIF&PS. Read more...

March 27, 2024

LLNL staff scientist Alison Browar

Throwing Shade on Optics Damage

If the sun’s too bright, you don sunglasses to prevent glare from damaging your eyes. LLNL researchers are using this same strategy to mitigate damage to valuable optics at NIF. Read more...

LLNL researcher Paulius Grivickas in the LIGHT lab

Upgrading Facilities and Experiences

LLNL’s new Laser Induced compression for Grain scale with High Throughput (LIGHT) facility can produce the same conditions as NIF’s Direct Light Impulse testing strategy on a 1-centimeter scale.
Read more...

March 22, 2024

BC8 Post Diamond Phase

Supercomputer Suggests Path to a Super-Diamond

Another form of carbon has been predicted to be even tougher than diamond. The challenge, which inspires ongoing Discovery Science experiments at NIF, is how to create it on Earth. Read more...

March 19, 2024

View of the Pillars of Creation

Studying the Sluggish Pace of Star Formation

To search for solutions to a puzzle of why the star formation rate is declining, an international team of researchers has turned to the unprecedented capabilities of NIF. Read more...

March 12, 2024

Annie Kritcher

Annie Kritcher: Tackling the Biggest Challenges

For LLNL physicist Annie Kritcher, the bigger the challenge, the better. Here’s how she became the principal designer on the LLNL team that achieved one of science’s biggest challenges—fusion ignition.
Read more...

March 6, 2024

Labeled components within an assembly of parts for a laser system

More Shots, More Potential for Success

NIF stands to gain from a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project to explore ultrawide bandgap photoconductive devices. Read more...

John Fisher

John Fisher: As the Wood Turns

As a Lab IT systems administrator, John Fisher enjoys the challenge of streamlining workflows and finding efficiencies. It’s a skill he carries over to his hobby—woodworking. Read more...

February 29, 2024

Department of Energy seal

DOE Secretary Honors Fusion Ignition Teams

The Fusion Ignition Team and a team that helped tell the world the story of that historic LLNL accomplishment at NIF were among the Lab project teams to earn Department of Energy Secretary’s Honor Awards.
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February 5, 2024

Cover of Physical Review Letters

LLNL’s Ignition Breakthrough Published in PRL

Physical Review Letters (PRL) published one of the first peer-reviewed papers detailing LLNL’s historic achievement of fusion ignition at NIF, with companion papers in PRL and Physical Review E. Read more...

Outside the NIF Target Chamber

Tracing the Steps to the Fusion Ignition Breakthrough

The inside story of how LLNL ICF researchers solved physics and engineering challenges to achieve target energy gain is told in a comprehensive Reviews of Modern Physics article. Read more...

January 29, 2024

Dayne Fratanduono stands in a critical spot under the NIF beamline

Enhanced Yield Proposal Aims to Boost NIF Yield

Studies using recent ignition experiments indicate an upgrade to 3 MJ of laser energy at NIF could result in fusion output yields in the 30 MJ range. An early stage proposal could turn this idea into reality. Read more...

January 10, 2024

Dan Casey and Annie Kritcher in the NIF Target Bay

Dan Casey: Applying Ignition’s Lessons to IFE

LLNL physicist Dan Casey is leveraging the knowledge gained from the decades-long pursuit of ignition to the quest for clean, safe, and abundant inertial fusion energy. Read more...

LIA Fellows Jamie King of LLNL and Eric Mottay of Amplitude Laser Group

Laser Safety Officer Named LIA Fellow

Jamie King, LLNL and NIF and Photon Science certified laser safety officer, was named a fellow of the Laser Institute, the organization’s highest level of membership. Read more...

Paul Armstrong

Engineer Mentors High School Robotics Team

By day, NIF&PS engineer Paul Armstrong heads up an advanced laser applications team. In his spare time, he guides a high school robotics team. Read more...

Time story

Inside the Facility That Changed the World

Time followed LLNL researchers for months as they worked to successfully repeat fusion ignition at NIF in the months following the first historic shot in December 2022. Read more...

January 3, 2024

LLNL HBCU Week home page

LLNL HBCU Week Showcases Lab Expertise, Culture

LLNL HBCU Week’s goal is to increase the number of underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Lab staff presented an overview of LLNL research, culture, and career opportunities. Read more...

December 18, 2023

Tayyab Suratwala

Who Works at NIF: The Zen of the Gem

At work, Tayyab Suratwala leads research into grinding and polishing optics for NIF. In his free time, Suratwala immerses himself in faceting brilliant gemstones. Read more...

LLNL Ignition Logo

The Age of Ignition: Anniversary Edition

A year after LLNL achieved fusion ignition at NIF, we have expanded our special report The Age of Ignition with more stories explaining how scientific history was made. Download PDF...

December 12, 2023

A copper target for an extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) experiment

Probing Copper Under Extreme Pressures

In new LLNL experiments at NIF, LLNL scientists measured the extended x-ray absorption fine structure of copper to probe its temperature under extreme pressure. Read more...

Inside the Lab: What is Fusion Ignition

Video: What is Fusion Ignition

In this edition of LLNL’s Inside the Lab video series, science communicator Maren Hunsberger explains what fusion ignition is, how it happened at NIF, and why is it important. Read more...

NIF Target Chamber

Ignition at NIF Makes Google’s Most Searched List

What do Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, and LLNL have in common? We’re all on Google’s list of most searched for figures and moments. We appear at the 1:53 mark of this 25 years of Google Search video: View video...

December 7, 2023

IFE-STARFIRE

Team Receives DOE Award to Establish IFE Hub

The Energy Department awarded a four-year, $16 million project to a multi-institutional team led by LLNL to accelerate IFE science and technology. This effort will be carried out by a newly established hub named STARFIRE. Read more...

Physics World Top 10 Logo

Physics World Honors LLNL’s Ignition Breakthrough

LLNL’s fusion ignition achievement at NIF earned an honorable mention on Physics World’s 2023 Top 10 scientific breakthroughs list for work performed late last year after the publication picked its 2022 winners. Read more...

November 16, 2023

Larry Pelz, Jean-Michel Di Nicola, and John Heebner in the Master Oscillator Room

LLNL’s NIF Delivers Record Laser Energy

LLNL set a new record for laser energy at NIF, firing 2.2 megajoules (MJ) of energy for the first time on an ignition target. The experiment achieved ignition for the fourth time and delivered the second-highest neutron yield. Read more...

Defense Technologies Engineering Division (DTED) technologists staff members Chris Padagas, Joseph Advincula, Steven Keesee, and Aaron Torres

Engineering Divisions Provide Expertise to NIF

LLNL’s National Security Engineering Division and Defense Technologies Engineering Division have long histories of providing infrastructure for NIF’s operations. Read more...

Inside one of NIF’s two switchyards

NIF: An Engineering Marvel

With 7,500 large optics, 26,000 small optics, and more than 66,000 control points, NIF is a remarkable engineering and technology success story. Read more...

November 14, 2023

Optica Fellow Logo

NIF’s Wisoff, Di Nicola Elected Optica Fellows

Jeff Wisoff, NIF&PS principal associate director, and Jean-Michel Di Nicola, Laser Science & Technology and Systems Engineering organization co-program director, were selected as Optica fellows.
Read more...

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