Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

January 13, 2022

Spotlight on:

Papers and Presentations

Ironing Out the Interiors of Exoplanets

LLNL scientists and collaborators used NIF’s lasers to experimentally determine the high-pressure melting curve and structural properties of pure iron descending toward the center of an extra-solar planet. Read more...

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New AI Incubator Will Help ICF Research

LLNL has established the AI Innovation Incubator to advance artificial intelligence research for scientific and commercial applications that include ICF experiments at NIF. Read more...

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Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm Tours NIF

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm toured NIF in person for the first time since taking office. View photos...

Photo of John Foster applauding George Miller

George Miller Receives John S. Foster Jr. Medal

During a hybrid ceremony, LLNL Director Emeritus George Miller received the sixth John S. Foster, Jr. Medal for his long service to Lawrence Livermore and contributions to the nation’s security. Read more...

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Physics Today’s Most Read Story: Fusion Milestone

“Lawrence Livermore Claims a Milestone in Laser Fusion” was the most read story on Physics Today’s website in 2021. Read more...

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Fusion Milestone a Science Breakthrough Finalist

We’re honored that NIF’s record-setting Aug. 8 fusion experiment finished as one of the runners-up for Science magazine’s scientific breakthroughs of 2021. Read more ...

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Redlining Lasers for Nuclear Fusion

In a Q&A interview with Nature Photonics, NIF’s Operations manager Bruno Van Wonterghem delves into NIF’s laser optics and what to expect next (fee may be required). Read more...


Image of the Sun

The Elements of a Fusion Breakthrough

Part 1: NIF’s Aug. 8 “Wright Brothers moment” culminated years of research in lasers, optics, diagnostics, target fabrication, experimental design, and computer modeling and simulation. Read more...

Diagram of NIF Energy-Coupling Efficiency

‘Hybrid’ Experiments Drive NIF Toward Ignition

Part 2: The record shot was part of a series of high-yield big-radius implosion design experiments coupling the best of previous experiments with rapidly advancing diagnostic and modeling technology. Read more...

Operator Removes Neutron Imager Snout from a Diagnostic Instrument Manipulator

NIF Diagnostics Played Key Role in Fusion Milestone

Part 3: NIF’s highly specialized and sophisticated measuring instruments known as diagnostics were integral to the record-setting fusion experiment. Read more...

Image of Diamond Capsule Inside Hohlraum

Diamond Capsule Quality Enhanced Record Shot

Part 4: The quality of the high-density carbon (HDC), or diamond, target capsule was a factor in NIF’s record-smashing 1.3-megajoule (MJ) energy-yield experiment. Read more...

NIF 1.3 MJ F logo

Laser and Optics Upgrades Paved Way to Milestone

Part 5: The work of innovative NIF & Photon Science laser system engineering, operations, and optic materials teams prepared NIF for the record-setting Aug. 8 experiment that brought researchers to the threshold of ignition. Read more...

NIF 1.3 MJ F logo

NIF Researchers at Threshold of Fusion Ignition

An Aug. 8 NIF experiment made a significant step toward ignition, achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules (MJ). This advancement puts researchers at the threshold of fusion ignition. Read more...

Result of Cross-Beam Energy Transfer

NIF Generating Headlines Around the World

NIF’s significant step toward ignition is generating news stories around the world. You can find links to those stories on our In the News page.

December 13, 2021

LLNL Day Background

LLNL Expands Outreach to HBCUs

Building on last year’s successful outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), this year’s LLNL Day was expanded into a virtual LLNL-HBCU career week. Read more...

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ICF Chief Scientist Wins Edward Teller Award

Omar Hurricane, chief scientist for LLNL’s inertial confinement fusion program, is a recipient of the American Nuclear Society’s prestigious Edward Teller Award. Read more...

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Fusion Breakthrough One of Physics World’s Top 10

NIF’s fusion shot that brought researchers to the threshold of ignition was named one of Physics World’s Top 10 scientific “Breakthroughs of 2021.” Read more...

December 1, 2021

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Entropy Generation from ICF Hydrodynamic Mixing

Research conducted at LLNL is taking a closer look at entropy—the measure of internal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work—in ICF experiments at NIF. Read more...

Image of ICF experiment

Vote for NIF’s Fusion Milestone in Science Poll

We’re thrilled Science magazine nominated NIF’s record-setting Aug. 8 experiment as one of 2021’s top scientific “Breakthroughs of the Year.” You can help “Fusion’s Day in the Sun” win Science’s “People’s Choice” award. The first round of voting ends Dec. 6. Vote here (Twitter link) ...

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Lasers Without Limits

Science & Technology Review explores how LLNL scientists and engineers are anticipating the next generation of laser technology: very-high-average power short-pulse lasers. Read more...

November 17, 2021

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Scholar Intern Pursues Passion for Optics

Natalie Shultz became enthralled with optics in high school. That led to her NIF&PS Summer Scholar Program project on debris shields used in NIF’s final optics assembly. Read more...

Photo of NIF physicist Leily Kiani testing optical fiber

Bridging the Idea-to-Industry Gap

A neodymium-doped fiber amplifier that could double the capacity of information-carrying fiber-optic cables is among the many LLNL-developed inventions awarded technology commercialization funding. Read more...

Screenshot of Virtual Discovery Center

Visit LLNL’s Virtual Discovery Center

While LLNL Discovery Center visits remain on pause, you can learn more about NIF’s Target Chamber, hohlraums, optics, and lasers by clicking through our interactive Virtual Discovery Center. Read more...

November 2, 2021

Hot-spot density and magnetic field profiles for capsules

Magnetic Flux Generation in ICF Implosions

LLNL researchers now have a better understanding of how strong the magnetic fields are during an inertial confinement fusion implosion at NIF. Read more...

Composite photo of 2021 EMCR Winners

NIF&PS Scientists Earn Early, Mid-Career Honors

LLNL’s seventh-annual Early and Mid-Career Recognition Program included five scientists whose work has made a significant impact on NIF & Photon Science research. Read more...

October 18, 2021

Cutaway drawing of an ASML EUVL machine. Credit: ASML

LLNL Research Chipped into Latest Mobile Phones

The microprocessors at the heart of an increasing number of the world’s newest mobile phones and PCs were made possible in part by LLNL research spanning the last three decades. Read more...

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Data-Driven Approaches to Key NIF Diagnostics

Su-Ann Chong’s meticulous organization and impressive work experience made the NIF&PS Summer Scholar an excellent match to work on neutron detection and modeling projects. Read more...

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Three LLNL Scientists Honored as APS Fellows

NIF&PS physicists Tammy Ma and Tilo Döppner and Physical and Life Sciences physicist Xueqiao Xu have been named 2021 fellows of the American Physical Society. Read more...

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Gold Monoliths Lighter Than Air

LLNL researchers collaborated with target fabrication scientists to test storing, transporting, and mounting lighter-than-air gold aerogel “foam’ on targets at NIF. Read more...

Photo of LLNL optical engineers Justin Wolfe, Simon Cohen, Frank Arredondo with

Optical Components for World’s Newest Telescope

NIF’s state-of-the-art optical assembly building played a role in the making of the last shipment of optical filters for world’s newest telescope in the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. Read more...

September 28, 2021

Cover of the book The Star Builders

Fusion ‘Star Builders’ Book Features NIF

NIF is featured prominently in a new book about fusion energy “star builders.” The book’s author calls NIF’s recent experiment that brought researchers to the threshold of ignition “momentous.” Read more...

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Student Excels as NIF&PS Summer Scholar

Priyanka Nagasamudra was fascinated when LLNL scientist Laura Kegelmeyer spoke to her Dublin High School class about NIF. Her work as a NIF intern has impressed Kegelmeyer, who became her mentor. Read more...

Graph showing data on fast flows in thermodynamic fusion

Focusing on Fast Flows in Thermonuclear Fusion

LLNL researchers conducting experiments at NIF to investigate a “low-mode” laser asymmetry that was significantly degrading performance showed it’s possible to reduce asymmetries and increase performance. Read more...

Photo of researchers examining a prototype Lightfield Directing Array

Lab Garners Five Tech Commercialization Grants

A technology originally conceived as a way to improve the beam quality for NIF’s adaptive optics is one of five LLNL projects to secure DOE Technology Commercialization Fund grants. Read more...

September 22, 2021

Photo of George Miller

George Miller Receives John S. Foster Medal

LLNL Director Emeritus George Miller, who helped lead NIF during a key period of the facility’s construction, has been named the 2021 recipient of the John S. Foster Medal for his contributions to U.S. national security. Read more...

September 8, 2021

A time integrated photo taken during a diffraction experiment at Omega

How Tantalum Behaves at High Pressure

LLNL researchers studied the melting behavior of tantalum at multi-megabar pressures, part of a broader effort to ensure these transitions are simulated correctly when predicting events such as accelerating an ablator during experiments at NIF. Read more...

Photo of Evelyn Andrade in NIF Control Room

NIF&PS Virtual Summer Scholar Program 2.0

The NIF&PS virtual Summer Scholar Program returned for another year with an expanded lineup of seminars, coffee talks, and virtual tours.

Image of Martian aurora

LLNL Optics Used to Spot Elusive Martian Auroras

LLNL’s expertise in advancing optical science helped create NIF, the world’s largest laser system. That optical expertise recently played a role in exploring the elusive auroras of Mars. Read more...

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