Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



NIF Photos Featured in ‘Art of Science’ Exhibit


Spring Facility Maintenance Period Completed

NIF’s spring Facility Maintenance and Reconfiguration (FM&R) period, which began on March 23, was successfully completed on April 8. More than 150 tasks, including the installation of the Scattered Light Time-history Diagnostic (SLTD) gate valves and first unit, were completed. These new diagnostics will measure scattered light in multiple directions in the Target Chamber during direct-drive experiments.

Photo of the Scattered Light Time-history Diagnostic (SLTD)The first Scattered Light Time-history Diagnostic mounted on the NIF Target Chamber.

Other tasks included installation of the gate valve for a third neutron imaging system that will allow imaging from three nearly orthogonal views for 3D reconstruction of neutron images; installation and commissioning of a new Final Optics Damage Inspection System camera called FODI2; and a major Integrated Computer Control System software release and manual regression test.

Technician Pepares a Port for Gate Valve Installation(Above) Nick St. Hilaire of the Target and Handling Team prepares a port for installation of the third neutron imaging system gate valve. The Final Optics Damage Inspection System can be seen through the open port. (Below) Positioner engineer Sam Ahrendes inspects the new cable track installed in a NIF diagnostic instrument manipulator.Technician Inspects Cable Track

NIF Photos Featured in ‘Art of Science’ Exhibit

LLNL researchers use powerful, state-of-the-art tools, like the National Ignition Facility, to gather scientific detail from every conceivable angle—from larger than life to the atomic scale. Imagery captured from these tools, whether it’s one of the world’s fastest supercomputers or the world’s largest and highest-energy laser, offers a unique interplay between science and art and proves that art is more than paint on canvas, ink on paper, or carved wood or stone.

A new exhibit dubbed “The Art of Science” at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater offers a look at some of that imagery, captured by the Lab’ scientists, engineers, researchers, photographers, and graphic artists. The show takes place in the theater› gallery at 2400 First Street in Livermore.

Photo of the NIF Target Chamber ExteriorNIF has 192 individual laser beams that come together in the center of the Target Chamber. In this image, several beamlines are shown where they enter the lower hemisphere of the chamber. This is where the laser light is converted from infrared to ultraviolet before being precisely directed into the center of the giant sphere. (Photos by Damien Jemison)

Many of the images on display are meant for their technical utility—scientists and engineers use these depictions to answer vital questions that enable the Lab to fulfill its missions in national security, additive manufacturing, high energy density physics, counterterrorism, energy sciences, and more. Yet the works chosen for “The Art of Science” are just as captivating for their aesthetic quality as their scientific detail. The result? Science that is not stodgy, and art that illuminates the path to the future.

Photo of NIF CapacitorsIn the NIF capacitor bays, high-voltage capacitors are charged for about 60 seconds before releasing their energy in a 400-microsecond burst to power the flashlamps that energize NIF’ lasers. Peak power for the electrical system exceeds 1 trillion watts, making it the highest-energy and highest-power pulsed electrical system of its kind. There are four capacitor bays at NIF, one on each side of the two laser bays.

“The Art of Science” will be on display at the Bankhead gallery through April 30. Also on display, in the Founder’s Room just to the left of the lobby, is a collection of intricate 3D photography by the Lab’s Kirk Sylvester, who works as a training coordinator in the Security Organization.

For gallery hours, contact the Bankhead at (925) 373-6800 or visit the Website.

Photo of the Target Chamber InteriorA look inside the NIF Target Chamber shows the target positioner moving into place. Pulses from NIF’s high-powered lasers race through the facility at the speed of light and arrive at the center of the Target Chamber within a few trillionths of a second of each other, aligned to the accuracy of the diameter of a human hair. As the target implodes, temperatures of 100 million degrees and pressures extreme enough to compress the target to densities up to 100 times the density of lead are created. NIF helps ensure the safety and security of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, furthers our understanding of the cosmos, and advances energy research.