Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


December 30, 2019
Scientists Report Lead is Actually Stronger Than Steel. Move over, Superman.
Steel is regarded as one of the strongest metal alloys, used in everything from buildings to vehicles to machines, and more. But, a new report shows another common alloy may be stronger than steel, given the right conditions. (IGN)

December 27, 2019
Lasers Extend Study of Matter at Extremes
The dynamics of high-energy density (HED) matter — “warm, dense matter,” with the density of a solid but at temperatures as high as 10,000°C — hold potential insights in domains ranging from studies of planetary interiors to efforts for fusion energy. But getting a grip on those ephemeral, femtosecond-scale processes in these piping-hot materials has been tough. (Optics & Photonics News)

November 18, 2019
Lead Is Stronger Than Steel If You Compress It Enough
Science News reports that researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been putting lead under pressure, and the results are stronger than steel. Sorry, spider silk — this time it’s for real. (Popular Mechanics)

November 18, 2019
New ultralight gold foam shimmers in the limelight
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have created the lightest gold foam to date. The new form of ultralight gold aerogel foam has applications in electronics, catalysis, sensors and energy conversion and storage. (

November 18, 2019
Lead Becomes Stronger Than Steel Under Extreme Pressures
Lead performs under pressure. Under normal conditions, the metal is relatively soft, easily scratched with a fingernail. But when compressed under extreme pressures, lead becomes hard and strong — even stronger than steel, scientists report November 11 in Physical Review Letters. Researchers rapidly compressed a lead sample by blasting it with lasers at the National Ignition Facility. (Science News)

November 2, 2019
Mission Unstoppable — Fusion, Friends, and Flerovium
A brilliant scientist can make stars here on Earth using lasers; an augmented reality game teaches kids how to get along better, quantum computers are the future of computing; and meet a scientist who helped add new elements to the periodic table! (CBS)

October 23, 2019
Scientists Just Created A Star In The Lab And It Works
Scientists have been trying to understand how the Sun and other stars formed and work in space. Earlier efforts only relied on ground and space telescopes for such activity, but a team of scientists created what could be a game-changer. Scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California, used 192 high-powered lasers to create star-like conditions in the lab. (Medical Daily)

October 21, 2019
A Star is Born: Using Lasers to Study How Star Stuff is Made
On a typical day at the world's biggest laser, the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California, you can find scientists casually making star-like conditions using 192 high-powered lasers … Ongoing experiments at the NIF are studying one of the primary nucleosynthesis processes in the sun, the 3He-3He reaction between two helium ions, in stellar-like conditions. (American Physical Society)

October 10, 2019
Zing! Zap! Pow! LLNL Comic Book Explains the World’s Biggest Laser
When physicists talk about their research, members of the public may wince at the prospect of being deluged with complex technical information. Breaking from that tradition, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has published a full-color, 12-page comic book about its premier scientific research tool, the National Ignition Facility, or NIF. (The Independent)

October 8, 2019
Diamond Anvils and the Heart of Jupiter
Physicist Marius Millot investigates the intimate atomic worlds of elements in order to understand the inner secrets of the largest planets in our solar system … When the 192 lasers of the National Ignition Facility focus on a single point, they can reproduce the unimaginably intense pressures in the interiors of planets, or even stars. (Podcast: Third Pod From the Sun)

August 23, 2019
LLNL’s Hackathoners put Coding Skills to the Test
One group of National Ignition Facility (NIF) summer interns worked on a project combining Raspberry Pi mini-computers, machine learning and a streaming camera to identify objects and images using computer vision and image classification techniques. (HPC Wire)

August 15, 2019
National Ignition Facility Celebrates Tenth Anniversary
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility celebrated its 10th anniversary of operations this week as the world’s largest and most energetic laser. (The Independent)

August 13, 2019
UNM grad earns presidential award
Albuquerque native Daniel Casey has immersed himself in the world of ablators, adiabats, and hydro-growth radiography. Those scientific terms are part of the work the physicist and the 2000 Eldorado High School graduate has been doing at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2012. (Albuquerque Journal)

July 29, 2019
The Great, Maddening Promise of Fusion Energy
Nuclear fusion has the potential to provide the world with clean, plentiful power. Why has progress on making it a reality been so painfully slow? (Bloomberg)

July 21, 2019
4 Scientists From Lab To Receive Presidential Award
Four scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been selected to receive the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering, the lab announced Wednesday. (SFGate)

July 18, 2019
She Rewrote the Moon’s Origin Story
Sarah T. Stewart, a planetary physicist at UC Davis: “We can reach the core pressures in the Earth, but I can’t reach the range of giant impacts or the center of Jupiter in my lab. But the Sandia Z machine, which is a big capacitor that launches metal plates using a magnetic force, can reach 40 kilometers per second. And with the National Ignition Facility laser at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, we can reach the pressures at the center of Jupiter.” (Nautilus)

June 26, 2019
High-powered laser diodes can reduce residual stress in metal 3-D printed parts
In 3-D printing, residual stress can build up in parts during the printing process due to the expansion of heated material and contraction of cold material. Researchers at LLNL and UC Davis are addressing the problem by using laser diodes—high-powered lasers borrowed from technology created for LLNL’s National Ignition Facility. (

June 9, 2019
Scientists produce gold, silver, copper foams
Scientists at the US Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory created ultra-low density gold, silver and copper foams to give physicists better X-ray sources to employ in experiments at the National Ignition Facility. (

June 4, 2019
Making metal with the lightness of air
Gold, silver and copper are heavy metals, but LLNL scientists can now make them nearly as light as air—in a form so tiny it can ride on a mosquito’s back. (

May 17, 2019
Superionic ice observed at extreme pressure and temperature
A 19th distinct form of solid water has been created and characterized by Federica Coppari and Marius Millot of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and their collaborators. (Physics Today)

May 16, 2019
New, Unique Form Of ‘Superionic Hot Ice’ Discovered On Earth
Anything is possible while we have scientists on our planet. And the recent discovery led by researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, proves that statement. (Mashable)

May 12, 2019
A Bizarre Form of Water May Exist All Over the Universe
The discovery of superionic ice potentially solves the puzzle of what giant icy planets like Uranus and Neptune are made of. They’re now thought to have gaseous, mixed-chemical outer shells, a liquid layer of ionized water below that, a solid layer of superionic ice comprising the bulk of their interiors, and rocky centers. (Wired)

May 10, 2019
Powerful Lasers Produce Wild New Kind of Ice Thought to Exist Inside Uranus
Scientists used high-energy lasers to create a new phase of ice unlike any seen on Earth before—but which might exist deep within Neptune and Uranus. (Gizmodo)

May 10, 2019
Progress towards achieving fusion ignition at NIF
A new article describes recent progress as well as what still needs to happen to achieve fusion ignition at the National Ignition Facility. (AIP Scilight)

May 9, 2019
Bizarre Superionic Ice Created By Scientists For The First Time
It’s weird, it’s insanely hot and it may be what water ice looks like throughout much of the universe. Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) zapped water with powerful lasers and managed to “flash-freeze” it into an exotic superionic state. (Forbes)

May 9, 2019
Scientists create bizarre form of hot ‘superionic ice’ using powerful lasers
Hot ice that can remain frozen at thousands of degrees of heat has been created by scientists. One of the most powerful lasers on the planet was used to make the bizarre creation, which could teach us more about the structure of giant ice planets like Uranus and Neptune. (New York Post)

May 8, 2019
Bizarre form of hot ice seen on Earth
From the seas of Antarctica to the depths of your freezer, most ice on Earth is relatively tame stuff. But throughout the solar system and beyond, extreme temperatures and pressures can crush the frozen substance into increasingly odd varieties. (National Geographic)

May 8, 2019
Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water
The discovery of superionic ice potentially solves the puzzle of what giant icy planets like Uranus and Neptune are made of. They’re now thought to have gaseous, mixed-chemical outer shells, a liquid layer of ionized water below that, a solid layer of superionic ice comprising the bulk of their interiors, and rocky centers. (Quanta Magazine)

May 8, 2019
Scientists Flash-Freeze Water To Create Superionic Ice Half As Hot As The Sun
For the first time in history, scientists are able to generate hot "superionic ice" that's unlike any other type of ice on Earth. (Tech Times)

May 8, 2019
Behold the mayo: Experiments reveal ‘instability threshold’ of elastic-plastic material
Arindam Banerjee, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics at Lehigh University, studies the dynamics of materials in extreme environments. He and his team have built several devices to effectively investigate the dynamics of fluids and other materials under the influence of high acceleration and centrifugal force. (Science Daily)

May 7, 2019
Matheny: Armed with Experience
In March 2007, nuclear engineering senior Jason Matheny read an article about plans for the National Ignition Facility. Matheny was serving in the Army, but reading this story sparked his interest in nuclear science, and he sought a way to learn more. (University of Tennessee News)

April 19, 2019
Bobbing Shells Key to Future NIF Targets
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) team of physicists and target engineers has reached an important goal with a new technique for electroplating copper and gold to create tiny, smoothly spherical inertial confinement fusion (ICF) target shells. (Science & Technology Research News)

April 11, 2019
New device in Z machine measures power for nuclear fusion
If you’re chasing the elusive goal of nuclear fusion and think you need a bigger reactor to do the job, you first might want to know precisely how much input energy emerging from the wall plug is making it to the heart of your machine. (

April 9, 2019
Ultrashort-pulse laser method could improve industrial laser processing
By using ultrashort laser pulses, a team of researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has found an efficient mechanism for laser ablation that could help pave the way to the use of lower-energy, less costly lasers in many industrial laser processing applications. (Industrial Laser Solutions for Manufacturing)

April 8, 2019
Confirmed: New phase of matter is solid and liquid at the same time
A team of physicists used a type of artificial intelligence to confirm the existence of a bizarre new state of matter. The machine learning technique the team developed could be useful in modeling the behavior of other substances, says Marius Millot, who studies material under extreme conditions at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (National Geograpic)

April 8, 2019
New Technique Improves Laser-material Interaction
Using ultrashort laser pulses lasting a few picoseconds (trillionths of a second), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have discovered an efficient mechanism for laser ablation (material removal) that could help pave the way to the use of lower-energy, less costly lasers in many industrial laser processing applications. (R&D Magazine)

April 8, 2019
LLNL develops new method to improve laser-material interaction
Using ultrashort laser pulses lasting a few picoseconds, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have discovered an efficient mechanism for laser ablation, which they say could pave the way toward the use of lower-energy, less costly lasers in many industrial laser processing applications. (

April 6, 2019
Girls' STEM Conference a success at Princeton University
The keynote speaker, Tammy Ma, told the students that she wanted to be a scientist as a young girl. She initially wanted to be an astronaut, but she decided that she really liked school. “I decided to go to graduate school at the University of California at San Diego and get my fill of surfing. Now, I’m a physicist.” (

March 30, 2019
A Guide To Selecting Laser Protective Eyewear
A guide written by Ken Barat, CLSO, the principal consultant at Laser Safety Solutions and former Laser Safety Officer for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Ignition Facility. (Photonics Online)

March 28, 2019
Young Women’s Conference in STEM seeks to change the statistics one girl at a time
Tammy Ma, a plasma physicist at the DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Ignition Facility, gave the keynote speech, which focused on her facility’s research into creating fusion energy to generate electricity from a process called inertial confinement fusion. (Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory)

March 26, 2019
In Situ with Dawn Shaughnessy
Element discoverer Dawn Shaughnessy on big science, future generations and Star Wars. “These days, I’m mainly doing nuclear reactions in plasma at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The more I get to learn about plasma physics, the more intrigued I am.” (Chemistry World)

March 22, 2019
Lawrence Livermore National Lab: The Smartest Square Mile on Earth
Visiting here is like traveling down an intellectually magnificent rabbit hole, with one bustling hub of scientific activity and experimentation leading to another. Of all the cutting-edge programs at LLNL, perhaps the most head-spinning is the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the largest laser facility ever built. (Diablo Magazine)

March 14, 2019
ELI Beamlines now open for business
The various petawatt-class laser systems at the ELI Beamlines facility near Prague bring to fruition the Nobel-winning vision of Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland. (SPIE)

February 15, 2019
From summer research program to PhD dissertation
MIT graduate student Raspberry Simpson’s scientific journey approaches fruition as she gets ready to build a charged-particle spectrometer for a group under Tammy Ma at the National Ignition Facility. (MIT News)

February 7, 2019
LLNL Tackles Second Annual Battle of the Nerds
In the battle for nerd supremacy, only one team could rise to the top—and that team was Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s Lazer Cats, who beat SLAC Attack 38-6 to win the Nerd Bowl II championship. (The Independent)

February 4, 2019
Laser fusion output is tripled by new computer algorithm
Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments have been improved by a new computer algorithm that analyses statistical correlations between previous results. If similar experiments were done at NIF researchers estimate that this could lead to a fusion yield of 500 kJ—several times higher than the present record, and well on the way to ignition. (Physics World)

January 24, 2019
Scientists predict reaction data for fusion research, insight into universe’s origins
Using simulations and calculations, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory nuclear scientists for the first time have accurately predicted the properties of polarized thermonuclear fusion. Analogous calculations could be used to answer some of the most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe and the evolution of stars. (Phys.Org)