Diagnostic capability allows scientists to create X-ray movies

Sept. 1, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists are working on a new diagnostic capability that will provide, for the first time, the ability to make X-ray radiographic movies. The first experiment testing the principle, dubbed the Bipolar Reset Experiment (BIRX), was conducted at LLNL’s Flash X-Ray (FXR) deep-penetration radiographic facility at Site 300. The team has been...

National Ignition Facility experiment puts researchers at threshold of fusion ignition

Aug. 18, 2021- 
On Aug. 8, 2021, an experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) made a significant step toward ignition, achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules (MJ). This advancement puts researchers at the threshold of fusion ignition, an important goal of the NIF, and opens access to a new experimental regime. The experiment was enabled by...

Researchers focus on how tantalum behaves at high pressure and temperature

Aug. 18, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers have explored high-pressure behavior of shock-compressed tantalum at the Omega Laser Facility at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). The work showed tantalum did not follow the predicted phase changes at high pressure and instead maintained the body-centered cubic (BCC) phase until melt. The...

S&TR Magazine Highlights the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program

July 8, 2021- 
The last U.S. underground nuclear explosive tests, which were key to assessing the design and viability of the country’s nuclear weapons, occurred over 27 years ago. However, the need for deeper understanding of the complex physical processes that drive nuclear weapon performance and for putting stockpile design and assessment on a solid science-based foundation continue to be of...

Research describes slow and fast light in plasma

June 1, 2021- 
Slow and fast light, or large changes in the group velocity of light, have been observed in a range of optical media, but the fine control over the refractive index necessary to induce an observable effect has not been achieved in a plasma. In a paper published in Physical Review Letters, scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Laboratory for Laser...

Scientists identify key trends in high-energy-density mixing layers

May 17, 2021- 
Imagine a bottle of salad dressing containing oil and vinegar. The oil has a lower density than vinegar, so it floats on the vinegar. The oil will not stay trapped under the vinegar if the bottle is flipped upside down. It will bubble up through the vinegar until a stable state is restored. This simple physical process is known as Rayleigh–Taylor instability, and it can be found in many...

Scientists put additive manufactured foams to the test

March 25, 2021- 
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists recently published the results of a three-week experimental campaign at the Lab’s Jupiter Laser Facility to test the performance of laser-heated additive manufactured foams. The project helps support two major Laboratory focus areas, including helping to advance additive manufacturing and by enabling improvements in performance...

Study reveals cause of 3D asymmetry in ICF implosions

Feb. 25, 2021- 
Inertial confinement fusion (ICF) implosions require very high levels of symmetry in order to reach the high densities and temperatures required for fusion induced self-heating. Even percent-level deviations from perfect spherical symmetry can lead to significant distortions of the implosion and ultimately degrade fusion performance. To that end, researchers from Lawrence Livermore...