Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


December 13, 2018
Two-micron fill tubes fill two needs
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility and General Atomics engineers have created an inertial confinement fusion (ICF) fuel capsule with a two-micron-diameter fill tube—and along the way, found a solution to a “Bay Bridge”-like dilemma that could have dramatically slowed the process of fabricating NIF capsules. (Phys.Org)

October 17, 2018
20 Things You Didn’t Know About...Lasers
Researchers want to use NIF’s energy to trigger a nuclear fusion reaction, squishing the nuclei of hydrogen atoms together to make helium and producing energy the same way stars do. (Discover)

October 16, 2018
Ignition Pending
Despite setbacks, there has been steady progress towards the dream of clean and abundant energy. (Physics World)

October 2, 2018
This Is Why the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics, for Lasers, Is So Important
At first glance, a Nobel Prize for groundbreaking inventions in the field of laser physics might not seem to be such a big deal, given how commonplace lasers are. But if we look closer, you’ll understand why it’s not only Nobel-worthy, but why it’s so meaningful for the human enterprise of science. (Forbes)

August 20, 2018
Under pressure, hydrogen offers a reflection of giant planet interiors
Deep inside giant planetary interiors, scientists believe hydrogen becomes a metallic liquid. “This transformation has been a longstanding focus of attention in physics and planetary science,” said lead author Peter Celliers of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. (Space Daily)

August 17, 2018
World’s LARGEST and most POWERFUL laser uncovers new secrets of the universe
SCIENTISTS have used a new and more powerful laser to reveal some hidden mysteries about our solar system. (The Daily Star)

August 16, 2018
Settling Arguments About Hydrogen With 168 Giant Lasers
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory said they were “converging on the truth” in an experiment to understand hydrogen in its liquid metallic state. (The New York Times)

August 16, 2018
World’s largest laser reveals extreme conditions inside solar system’s giant planets
Hydrogen gas inside Jupiter and Saturn is subjected to pressures millions of times greater than on Earth, turning it into a metallic liquid. (The Independent)

August 16, 2018
Laser experiments give insights into largest planets
Experiments with the world’s biggest laser have given scientists fresh insights into the largest planets in our solar system. (The Irish News)

August 7, 2018
Jupiter Revealed
At the National Ignition facility in northern California, Dr. Marius Millot is using powerful lasers normally used for nuclear fusion for an astonishing experiment. He uses ‘500 times the power that is used for the entire United States at a given moment’ to crush hydrogen to the pressures inside Jupiter. (BBC Horizon) (Video–UK only)

August 6, 2018
Livermore Lab’s laser system sets new record
National Ignition Facility beats previous mark by 10%. (Pleasanton Weekly)

July 18, 2018
US National Ignition Facility edges closer to fusion with new record
Scientists at the energy centre managed to fire 2.15 megajoules of energy into a target chamber (Energy Live)

July 17, 2018
Researchers work to advance understanding of hydrodynamic instabilities in NIF, astrophysics
In a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) “Special Feature” paper published online June 26, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and University of Michigan researchers reported on recent experiments and techniques designed to improve understanding and control of hydrodynamic (fluid) instabilities in high energy density settings such as those that occur in inertial confinement fusion implosions on the National Ignition Facility. (Phys.Org)

July 11, 2018
National Ignition Facility sets new laser energy record
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility laser system has set a new record, firing 2.15 megajoules (MJ) of energy to its target chamber—a 15 percent improvement over NIF’s design specification of 1.8 MJ, and more than 10 percent higher than the previous 1.9 MJ energy record set in March 2012. (Phys.Org)

July 11, 2018
NIF smashes energy record with 2.15 MJ pulse
Lawrence Livermore laser team beats previous best of 1.9 MJ, set more than six years ago. (

July 5, 2018
World’s most intense laser system declared fully operational After five years of development, the world’s most intense diode-pumped petawatt laser has been declared fully integrated and operational. It was fired for the first time at the ELI Beamlines research institute in Dolní Břežany, Czech Republic, on 2 July 2018. (Electro Optics)

July 4, 2018
‘L3’ petawatt beamline switched on in Prague
‘First shot’ ceremony for LLNL-built laser system capable of producing a rapid stream of ultra-high-power pulses. (

June 26, 2018
Set Phasers to Stun: The Science Behind Star Trek
In a podcast, NIF’s Tammy Ma explores the science behind the 2009 reboot of the venerable sci-fi series. (Seeker) (Audio)

June 21, 2018
NIF Doubles the Energy From Its Target Shots
Experiments using new target designs have enabled researchers to double energy yields from thermonuclear targets after being hit by beams from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s huge National Ignition Facility laser system, the Laboratory reported last week. (The Independent)

June 21, 2018
The Twinkle in Mother Earth’s Eye: Laser Blasts Produce Promising Fusion Advances
What if you could have a miniature star powering your house, your computer, and your car? How cool would that be! Stars produce a lot of energy, and they get that energy through a process called fusion. Thanks to recent research at the National Ignition Facility, we’re now one step closer to using fusion as a power source—unlocking a virtually infinite supply of clean energy. (physics central)

June 18, 2018
Giant lasers pass new milestone towards fusion energy
Physicists working at the National Ignition Facility in the US say they have passed another important milestone in their quest for nuclear fusion energy. They have shown that the fusion energy generated by the laser implosion of a deuterium-tritium fuel capsule is twice that of the kinetic energy of the implosion. By further trebling the fusion energy, they say they will be close to the long-sought goal of an overall net energy gain. (Physics World)

June 15, 2018
NIF achieves new fusion output milestone
Researchers at the National Ignition Facility have taken another step toward their long-overdue goal of using lasers to attain a self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction. On 14 June in Physical Review Letters, researchers described experiments that doubled previous records both for neutron yield (now at 1.9 x 1016) and fusion energy output (now at 54 kilojoules) generated from capsules containing cryogenic deuterium–tritium fusion fuel. (Physics Today)

May 4, 2018
7 Giant Machines That Changed the World—And 1 That Might
NIF’s lasers are used to create conditions not unlike those within the cores of stars and giant planets, which helps scientists to gain understanding about these areas of the universe. The NIF is also being used to pursue the goal of nuclear fusion. If we can crack the code for this reaction that powers stars, we’ll achieve unlimited clean energy for our planet. (

April 29, 2018
Exploding stars shed light on fusion energy
Observations from controlled nuclear fusion reactions have wide applications for nuclear technology. In particular, they offer a roadmap toward maximizing the efficiency of energy production. (Futurity)

April 27, 2018
From F-14 Catapult Shots to NIF Laser Shots
From serving as a Naval aviation electronics technician on F-14 fighters to building some of the most complex systems on the world’s largest laser, meet John Hollis. (Veterans Today)

April 26, 2018
Recreating supernova reaction yields new insights for fusion energy
To observe the impact of heat during fusion, researchers turned to the world’s largest laser in Livermore, Calif. (Phys.Org)

April 17, 2018
Ramp compression of iron provides insight into core conditions of large rocky exoplanets
In a paper published today by Nature Astronomy, a team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Rochester have provided the first experimentally based mass-radius relationship for a hypothetical pure iron planet at super-Earth core conditions. (Phys.Org)

April 16, 2018
Lasers squeezed iron to mimic the conditions of exoplanet cores
The experiment offers a hint of how the material behaves deep inside faraway worlds. (Science News)

April 16, 2018
Scientists May Use Lasers to Gauge if "Super-Earths" are Fit for Life
So-called “super-Earths” are the exoplanet du jour, probably because they remind us so much of home. These worlds—which have a mass higher than Earth’s but less than Neptune’s—are thought to be fairly common outside our solar system. Now, scientists using lasers to test iron samples in an experiment that could set up how we one day will gauge whether super-Earths are fit for life. (

April 13, 2018
A powerful new source of high-energy protons
An international team of researchers used the National Ignition Facility’s petawatt-class Advanced Radiographic Capability to begin developing a powerful new source of protons to study the extreme conditions deep inside the planets and the stars, enhance targeted tumor therapy and advance the frontiers of high energy density science. (Phys.Org)

March 30, 2018
LLNL Uses 3D Printing Glass Method to Manufacture Optical-Quality Glasses On Par with Commercial Products
LLNL researchers have successfully 3D printed optical-quality glasses that, for the first time, are on the same level as currently available commercial glass products. (

March 30, 2018
Scientists successfully print glass optics
For the first time, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have successfully 3-D-printed optical-quality glasses, on par with commercial glass products currently available on the market. (Phys.Org)

March 9, 2018
Lawrence Livermore’s Laser Facility Aims for Pinpoint Accuracy in Parts
Scientists and engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently turned to Protolabs’ digital manufacturing services to rapidly produce highly precise parts and components for the lab’s National Ignition Facility, which houses the largest laser facility in the world. (R&D Magazine)

February 5, 2018
New Form of Water, Both Liquid and Solid, Is ‘Really Strange’
Long theorized to be found in the mantles of Uranus and Neptune, the confirmation of the existence of superionic ice could lead to the development of new materials. (The New York Times)

February 5, 2018
Laser experiment hints at weird in-between ice
The odd state of matter may be found within icy planets like Neptune and Uranus. (Science News)

January 10, 2018
LLNL 10 shot per second Petawatt laser installed
The L3-HAPLS advanced petawatt laser system was installed last week at the ELI Beamlines Research Center in Dolní Břežany, Czech Republic. L3-HAPLS—the world’s most advanced and highest average power, diode-pumped petawatt laser system—was designed, developed and constructed in only three years by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s NIF and Photon Science Directorate and delivered to ELI Beamlines in June 2017. (Next Big Future)

January 10, 2018
Modifying the national ignition facility to exawatt short pulses with existing technology
An exawatt-scale, short-pulse amplification architecture based upon a novel pulse compressor arrangement and amplification of long-duration chirped beam pulses is capable of extracting the full, stored energy of a NIF or NIF-like beam line. (Next Big Future)

January 5, 2018
Computational astrophysics team uncloaks magnetic fields of cosmic events
The development of ultra-intense lasers delivering the same power as the entire U.S. power grid has enabled the study of cosmic phenomena such as supernovae and black holes in earthbound laboratories. Now, a new method developed by computational astrophysicists at the University of Chicago allows scientists to analyze a key characteristic of these events: their powerful and complex magnetic fields. (Phys.Org)