As part of its primary mission to ensure that the nation's nuclear stockpile is safe, secure, and reliable with no additional nuclear tests, WCI scientists perform simulations which employ concepts from a broad range of basic sciences, including high-energy density physics, plasma physics, fluid dynamics, turbulence, radiation transfer, particle transport, atomic physics, nuclear physics, materials science, equations of state, opacity, and strength.
Kelvin-Helmholtz plasma vortices in a high energy density plasma state from a laser experiment. This radiographic image shows the formation of vortices, subsequent unstable roll-up, and final turbulent break-up, taking about 75 nanoseconds and covering about 1,400 microns.
This movie shows simulations performed in CALE that were used to design the experiment (left). See O. A. Hurricane et al., Phys. Plasmas, 16, 056305 (2009) and E. C. Harding et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 103, 045005 (2009) for more details.
Each of these areas is crucial for the mission of LLNL and are used together in integrated simulations. However, basic science simulations that isolate specific phenomenon coupled with pertinent experimental data provide firm validation for the integrated simulations.