Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


May 5, 2021
Boosting Inertial-Confinement-Fusion Yield with Magnetized Fuel
Building on a decade of advances in the understanding of neutron production and hot-spot physics, researchers at the National Ignition Facility are pursuing magnetized fusion fuel as a potentially disruptive way to boost the performance of laser-driven implosion. (Physics)

April 28, 2021
UC San Diego engineering professor solves deep earthquake mystery
A University of California San Diego engineering professor has solved one of the biggest mysteries in geophysics: What causes deep-focus earthquakes? (EurekAlert!)

April 8, 2021
With ‘smoke ring’ technology, fusion startup marks steady progress
A private company betting on an innovative fusion technology announced today that its latest device can sustain high temperatures for long reaction times—a major step toward a reactor capable of producing more fusion energy than is consumed by the device. (Science)

March 19, 2021
10 Things About Star Trek Only Movie Fans Know
The real world of science and the science fiction universe of Star Trek collided in Star Trek: Into Darkness, as the warp core in the movie was actually a real-world laser system called Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility, or NIF. (

March 16, 2021
DOE advisory committee releases report in fusion energy
The Department of Energy’s Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee (FESAC) has released a report that calls for the United States to move more aggressively toward nuclear fusion deployment. (Daily Energy Insider)

March 10, 2021
NSF CAREER Award recipient Thomas White explores the most extreme states of matter in the Universe
Assistant professor of physics receives funding to include undergraduate students in cutting edge physics research. (Nevada Today)

March 5, 2021
Dublin Students Test French Language Skills in Interview with LLNL Scientist
Students in the advanced placement French class at Dublin High School put their skills to the test recently during an interview with Dr. Laurent Divol, a physicist with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
(The Independent)

February 24, 2021
Get ready for Seurat’s Area Printing, a multi-laser, high-speed metal PBF process inspired by NIF
Like CERN, ITER, the ISS and NASA’s rovers, NIF (National Ignition Facility) is a wonder of engineering and one of the largest and most complex machines created by humans. Its purpose is to ignite nuclear fusion, making it produce more energy than it consumes, using multiple high-power lasers. (3D Printing Media Network)

February 8, 2021
Lawrence Livermore National Lab Names Kim Budil Director
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) new director, Kim Budil, will begin her new role March 2. Budil, replacing Bill Goldstein, will serve as the laboratory’s 13th director. She is the first female director in the laboratory’s 69-year history. (Photonics Media)

February 1, 2021
Ph.D. Alumna to Lead Livermore Lab
Kim Budil, Ph.D. ’94, whose career at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory spans 34 years, starting as a graduate student and progressing to postdoc after she received her Ph.D. in engineering/applied science from UC Davis, has been named the lab’s 13th director. (UC Davis Magazine)

January 29, 2021
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Names Kim Budil New Director
Kim Budil, a scientist who has worked a variety of leadership positions during a 34-year career at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), has been appointed its director, making her the first woman to hold the position. (The Independent)

January 29, 2021
Final FY21 Appropriations: National Nuclear Security Administration
The National Security Administration budget is surging by $3 billion to nearly $20 billion for fiscal year 2021, with most of the increase directed to modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and associated infrastructure. (American Institute of Physics)

January 28, 2021
Crushing Diamonds With Forces Greater Than Earth’s Core Reveals They Are ‘Metastable’
Diamonds can handle a little pressure. Actually, revise that—diamonds can handle a lot of pressure. In a series of new experiments, scientists have found that diamonds retain their crystal structure at pressures five times higher than that of Earth’s core. (Science Alert)

January 28, 2021
Scientists measured carbon at pressures reaching 2,000 GPa
NIF experiments probe carbon at record pressures. Carbon is one of the most ubiquitous elements. Besides being a building block for all known life, carbon material sits in carbon-rich exoplanets’ interior, hence subject to an intense investigation by scientists. (Tech Explorist)

January 27, 2021
Diamond holds up at pressures more than five times those in Earth’s core
Diamond stands up to a squeeze. Surprisingly, the material’s structure persists even when compressed to 2 trillion pascals, more than five times the pressure in Earth’s core, scientists report January 27 in Nature. (Science News)

January 27, 2021
Diamonds really are forever
Even with the weight of world on its shoulders, diamond resolutely refuses to buckle under the pressure. Thanks to the highest-pressure X-ray diffraction experiments ever reported, researchers have revealed that the structure of diamond remains unchanged at 2 terapascals (TPa)—more than five times the pressure at Earth’s core. (Chemical & Engineering News)

January 27, 2021
New research on carbon cracks open secrets deep inside exoplanets
Measuring carbon at the highest pressures ever achieved in a laboratory, researchers report first model of carbon structures that may make up planets outside the solar system. (University of Rochester Newscenter)

January 15, 2021
LLNL Develops New X-Ray Tool
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed an X-ray source that can be used to determine the temperature in probe experiments under conditions found at the very center of planets. Announced in Applied Physics Letters, the titanium x-ray source will be used to perform fine structure experiments on highly compressed solid-state materials at the National Ignition Facility. (The Independent)

January 7, 2021
Clean, cheap, and limitless—how ‘fusion power’ can meet 10% of the world’s energy needs
Another approach to fusion is ‘inertial confinement,’ where fusion fuel is instantaneously squeezed by a huge force. This can be done using lasers. For example, the US National Ignition Facility uses the world’s most powerful laser to compress fusion fuel inside small pellets. (ThePrint)

January 7, 2021
Illumination at the limits of knowledge
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California is a case in point: walking its halls evokes a sense of the technological sublime which is all but visceral. (The Economist)

January 4, 2021
Despite Big Breakthroughs Fusion Power Plants are Still Decades Away
At least 110 countries have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050. Fusion is potentially a carbon-free bridge to that goal. Fusion is still decades away from viable commercial production, but recent advances in the technology and supporting infrastructure are chipping away at that timetable. (Grit Daily)

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