Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Mission-driven sciences and technology advancing the security and well-being of the nation


Photo of Glenn Fox, PLS Associate Director

Glenn Fox

From astrophysics to atomic physics

Physics Division staff members lead and support a wide array of leading-edge research and development efforts at LLNL. From astrophysics and planetary science to atomic and plasma physics, their research explores matter at all length scales, under diverse and often extreme conditions. Using Lawrence Livermore’s remarkable tools—from some of the world’s most powerful supercomputers to remarkable laser platforms such as the National Ignition Facility and the Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF)—and those of collaborating institutions, they undertake precision laboratory experiments, develop complex computer simulations, and grapple with the theory underpinning various natural and human-made phenomena. They also develop sophisticated technologies, such as detectors, optical components, and imaging systems. Through the High Energy Density Science Center and JLF, they build collaborations with the broader research community and help train future generations of physicists for exciting careers.

Whatever the project, these physicists are making important contributions to Livermore’s missions in foundational science, defense technology, stockpile stewardship, space science and security, and nuclear threat reduction. I invite you to learn more about Physics Division’s research in the areas of applied physics, condensed matter physics, fusion energy science, and high-energy-density science and some of the unique facilities and capabilities they employ as part of their work.

March 21, 2018

A lecturer stands at a podium with lecture notes projected behind him.

Biomedical Technology Accelerates into ‘Science on Saturday’ Program

LLNL’s program Science on Saturday returned for a season of Marvelous Machines. In a presentation titled “Biomedical Accelerator Mass Spectrometry: Improving Human Health One Atom at a Time,” LLNL biomedical scientist Mike Malfatti and DVHS teacher Katherine Huang teamed up to explain how accelerator mass spectrometry helps advance bioscience.

March 8, 2018

An artist's depiction of the copper catalyst cycle.

Lab scientists to improve energy efficiency of copper catalysts

LLNL researchers have received $1 million from the DOE to improve the energy efficiency of copper-based catalysts to convert carbon dioxide into methane and other valuable hydrocarbon products. Led by LLNL’s Juergen Biener, the project will help meet the nation’s future energy needs by converting low-cost, abundant resources into commercially viable fuels.

March 2, 2018

An artist's rendition of the earth's core.

Unexpected metal behavior at Earth’s core conditions

LLNL scientists, in collaboration with scientists at the University of Saskatchewan, the Carnegie Geophysical Laboratory, and the University of Chicago, recently discovered that it is possible to create stable xenon-iron and xenon-nickel compounds at Earth-core thermodynamic conditions. The research is published in Physical Review Letters.

March 2, 2018

Bill Pitz and Charlie Westbrook

Lab employee and retiree named fellows

Two researchers affiliated with LLNL—a current employee and a retiree—have been named fellows of the international Combustion Institute. Bill Pitz, a combustion scientist in the Lab’s Materials Science Division, and Charlie Westbrook, a retired Lab employee, were announced in mid-February as fellows of the institute.

February 26, 2018

Scientist Michael Campanell

Pushing Boundaries in Plasma Physics: Michael Campanell Brings His Revolutionary Model to LLNL

As a staff scientist at LLNL, Michael Campanell builds on his doctoral research while contributing to the national missions of the Lab. He’s solving problems that may someday help enable nuclear fusion technology.

February 7, 2018

Elizabeth Sangalang

Undergrad lands second-author credential for “hydrogen-getters” research

Elizabeth Sangalang, a graduating senior studying biochemistry, has landed a second-author credential through the research she completed as a summer intern at LLNL.

Several interns look at a computer monitor.

Summer Institute

The 2018 Computational Chemistry and Materials Science (CCMS) Summer Institute will have a special focus on “Quantum Materials and Chemistry” to highlight the science challenges and research opportunities in the development of novel materials for emerging energy and information technologies.

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Summer Internship

Materials and Chemistry Institute (MaCI) offers a unique summer internship experience. Interns have access to state-of-the-art facilities like the Nanoscale Synthesis and Characterization Laboratory, the Jupiter Laser Facility, the Energetic Materials Center, and the National Ignition Facility.

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Two students discussing a poster.

Nuclear Forensics
Summer Institute

The mission of the Seaborg Institute is to facilitate the training of the next generation of nuclear scientists. This program offers graduate students the opportunity to work directly with leading LLNL researchers on projects in the areas of nuclear forensics, nuclear chemistry, and environmental radiochemistry.

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Physical & Life Sciences External Review Committee

Information for PLS External Review Committee Members