Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


June 24, 2020
Remaking a Planet One Atom at a Time
When is a planet not a planet? Where does helium rain? How can water be solid and liquid at the same time? For answers, scientists put common planetary materials under extreme pressure and watched what happened next. (Eos)

June 18, 2020
Deep Learning-Based Surrogate Models Outperform Simulators and Could Hasten Scientific Discoveries
Surrogate models supported by neural networks can perform as well, and in some ways better, than computationally expensive simulators and could lead to new insights in complicated physics problems such as inertial confinement fusion (ICF), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists reported. (HPC Wire)

June 17, 2020
How elements mix deep inside giant planets?
An international team that includes scientists from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has devised a new way to quantify how chemical elements behave and mix deep inside icy giants. (Tech Explorist)

June 16, 2020
Congress boosts inertial-confinement fusion budget; review results expected by end of FY20
Plans will be charted by year’s end for a five-year program to increase NIF’s pulse energy and perform new experiments. (LaserFocusWorld)

June 13, 2020
Create incredible supernova shockwaves … right here on Earth
In a new report, researchers have created a miniature version of the supernova shock wave in a laboratory on Earth to solve a long-standing mystery universe. (Xã Luậ

June 12, 2020
Shock waves created at NIF mimic astrophysical particle accelerators powered by exploding stars
When stars explode as supernovae, they produce shock waves so powerful they can blast streams of particles called cosmic rays into the universe at nearly the speed of light. Yet the exact mechanisms behind these phenomena remained mysteries for decades. (Mirage News)

June 11, 2020
Supernova Shock Waves Are Possible on Earth; Here’s How
Scientists were able to create a miniature version of a supernova shock wave in a lab, and it seems that it will solve a problem we’ve been dealing with for quite a long time in the space. (Webby Feed)

June 10, 2020
Scientists use lasers to create miniature supernova shock waves on Earth
Researchers have created a miniature version of supernova shock waves in a lab here on Earth to solve a long-standing cosmic mystery. (

June 10, 2020
Shock waves created in the lab mimic astrophysical particle accelerators powered by exploding stars
When stars explode as supernovas, they produce shock waves in the plasma surrounding them. So powerful are these shock waves, they can act as particle accelerators that blast streams of particles, called cosmic rays, out into the universe at nearly the speed of light. (ScienceBlog)

June 10, 2020
Igniting Shock Waves Using Some of the World’s Most Powerful Lasers to Mimic Supernovas
In experiments at the National Ignition Facility, a SLAC-led team found new details about how supernovas boost charged particles to nearly the speed of light. (SciTechDaily)

June 9, 2020
Shock waves created in the lab mimic supernova particle accelerators
When stars explode as supernovas, they produce shock waves in the plasma surrounding them. So powerful are these shock waves, they can act as particle accelerators that blast streams of particles, called cosmic rays, out into the universe at nearly the speed of light. (Nanowerk)

June 9, 2020
Researchers create shockwaves in the lab that mimic supernovas
When stars explode into supernovas, they produce shockwaves in the plasma surrounding them. Scientists say that the shockwaves are so powerful they can act as particle accelerators that blast streams of particles, called cosmic rays, into the universe at nearly the speed of light. (Slash Gear)

June 8, 2020
Miniature supernova shock waves
A laser–plasma experiment has recreated shock waves in collisionless, weakly magnetized conditions and evidenced electron acceleration to relativistic energies, offering unprecedented insight into a long-standing problem in astrophysics. (Nature Physics)

May 22, 2020
Celebrating 60 years of laser
This month marks the 60th anniversary of the invention of the laser. Here, we highlight a few of the many developments of a technology that has revolutionised our lives. To celebrate, our editors have chosen a collection of articles published in Communications Physics that showcase the breath of research and applications in this field. (Communications Physics)

May 19, 2020
Where AI Might Fit in the Supercomputers of 2030
One reason why we also pay attention to Brian Spears is because he’s directly at the point where all of this convergences. His main research revolves around the National Ignition Facility, which houses the largest laser in the world. Here, he weaves between using AI, traditional modeling and simulation, and ultra-fast, lower power compute at the edge. (The Next Platform)

May 15, 2020
“Light Under Flawless Tutelage Knows No Limits:” Sixty Years Of Lasers Finding New Problems To Solve
This Saturday, May 16, is the 60th anniversary of the first working laser, achieved by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Labs in 1960. At the time, one of Maiman’s colleagues, Irnee d’Haenens, famously dubbed the laser “a solution in search of a problem”—it wasn’t immediately obvious what a coherent source of light was really for. (Forbes)

May 14, 2020
How Do We Know the Nukes Still Work?
At Lawrence Livermore’s National Ignition Facility, the highest-energy laser ever built is stored in a sports stadium-sized building, where it focuses beams onto a target to set off fusion. (Gizmodo)

May 11, 2020
National Ignition Facility Experiments Have Resumed, DoE Says
Experiments resumed at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California in late April, following a COVID-19 shutdown, the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration said late Friday. (Defense Daily)

May 1, 2020
The Laser at 60: Robert Byer
For its May 2020 print article “The Laser at 60,” OPN interviewed a range of OSA Fellows on laser research today. We’re presenting a selection of those interviews online. Below is an edited version of our interview with Robert Byer of Stanford University. (Optics & Photonics News)

May 2020
The Laser at 60
Six decades after the first working laser was demonstrated, OPN offers a few samples of the incredibly rich field the device has created. The business end of Maiman’s 1960 laser could be held in the palm of one’s hands. That’s a far cry from the enormous, football-field-scale terawatt and petawatt laser complexes of the U.S. National Ignition Facility and Europe’s Extreme Light Infrastructure, and the 100-PW Station of Extreme Light being built in China. (Optics & Photonics News)

April 24, 2020
One Supercomputer’s HPC And AI Battle Against The Coronavirus
To find out more about how the Corona system and others are being deployed in the fight against COVID-19, and how HPC and AI workloads are being intertwined in that fight, we talked to Jim Brase, deputy associate director for data science at Lawrence Livermore. (The Next Platform)

April 23, 2020
Hidden in Plain Sight Podcast: Using Data to Build a Secure Future
Nuclear safety, national defense and cool experiments with an amazingly complex laser array: Here’s how the Lawrence Livermore National Lab crunches data to shape the future. Hear from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Director Bill Goldstein. (

March 31, 2020
How the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the world’s biggest physics experiments
The vast, sparsely populated Argentinian Pampas would seem ideal for social distancing. In the Mendoza region, the Pierre Auger Observatory near Malargue consists of more than 1,600 car-sized plastic tanks filled with water, scattered across some 3,000 square kilometres of land that is usually visited only by grazing cattle. (Nature)

March 24, 2020
Emerging Laser Applications—New Demands on Optics
Talking about optics assumes a well-prepared optical surface—and that was what Jessica DeGroote Nelson, Director of Technology & Strategy, Optimax Systems, talked about: How to make such a surface on an optical component, which is ready for use under challenging industrial conditions. (LaserFocusWorld)

March 19, 2020
Superfast, Superpowerful Lasers Are About to Revolutionize Physics
They’ll serve as the heart as “discovery factories” for planetary science, astrophysics, materials physics, fusion and more. (Scientific American)

March 13, 2020
Nuclear diagnostics help pave way to ignition on NIF inertial confinement fusion
At its peak, a NIF inertial confinement fusion (ICF) implosion lasts about 100 trillionths of a second. The imploded fuel is a hundred millionths of a meter in diameter and as much as eight times denser than lead. The center of the imploded capsule is a few times hotter than the core of the sun. (

March 13, 2020
Focus: Magnetic Field Gets up to Speed
Simulations suggest that a relatively simple laser technique could produce femtosecond magnetic-field pulses, which currently are only available at a few major lab facilities. (Physics)

February 27, 2020
The Holy Grail Of Clean Energy Is Closer Than Ever
Nuclear fusion has been seen as the unattainable holy grail of clean energy for decades, but just in the last year it’s been seeming more and more within reach. (

February 25, 2020
Perseverance with Félicie Albert
In this installment of Senior Member Insights, OPN talks with Félicie Albert, currently a staff scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), USA, in the National Ignition Facility and Photon Science directorate and the Joint High Energy Density Sciences (JHEDS) organization. She is also the deputy director for LLNL’s center for High Energy Density Science. (Optics & Photonics News)

February 24, 2020
‘Yes, You Can’: UC Merced Students Learning, Growing at Livermore Lab
Leily Kiani (’16) was a graduate student who learned about LLNL early enough in her time on campus to build the foundation that would lead her to do her postdoctoral work at the lab. Now, as a laser physicist working on fiber technologies, Kiani has access to one of the best pieces of equipment in the world — the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at LLNL. (UC Merced)

February 23, 2020
We Won’t Have Fusion Generators in Five Years. But the Holy Grail of Clean Energy May Still Be On Its Way
Recent reports from scientists pursuing a new kind of nuclear fusion technology are encouraging, but we are still some distance away from the “holy grail of clean energy.”" (The Conversation)

February 21, 2020
CCCC Students Attend National Photonics Convention
Second-year students in the Laser and Photonics Technology program at Central Carolina Community College’s Harnett Main Campus recently attended the 2020 SPIE Photonics West Convention in San Francisco. The group also took time to tour the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (The Johnston County Report)

February 19, 2020
Special Targets Boost Intensity of Lasers
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory engineers devise compound parabolic concentrators (CPC) that increase a laser’s intensity so that laser can accelerate particles so that they experience the effects of relativity. (Machine Design)

February 12, 2020
Nuclear Fusion Power Without Regular Tokamaks Or Stellarators
When it comes to nuclear fusion, the most well-known reactor type today is no doubt the tokamak, due to its relatively straight-forward concept of plasma containment. That’s not to say that there aren’t other ways to accomplish nuclear fusion in a way that could conceivably be used in a commercial power plant in the near future. (Hackaday)

January 28, 2020
Machine Learning: Can machine learning improve computer models enough to ignite inertial-confinement fusion?
Machine learning applied to the University of Rochester’s OMEGA laser increased fusion yields; the same could happen at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), too. (LaserFocusWorld)

January 18, 2020
Conservation, Crystals, and the Corpus Callosum
On this episode: a marine biologist who helps turtle conservation (and shows us the miracle of life!), a physicist who accomplished what scientists said was impossible, and a neuroscientist who understands how your brain talks to itself. (Mission Unstoppable)

January 17, 2020
The Densest Object On Earth — Made By Lasers
There are places in space where truly extreme pressures exist. But normally you find them in unpleasant locations like the centers of planets where we do not usually visit. So, how do common materials look in those conditions? If we want to know then we need truly extreme devices. Such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). (Steemit)

January 10, 2020
National Lab Teams Create Densest Object on Earth
Scientists used the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Lab to squeeze a microscopic sample of copper samples under 30 million atmospheres in less than a billionth of a second. This tripled the sample’s density, creating the densest object on the planet for a brief moment in time. (Machine Design)

January 1, 2020
Back in the Power Game
The U.S. is building one of the most powerful lasers in the world that could eventually break the quantum vacuum and produce matter from nothing. (SPIE)

Top of Page