Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory



When a body is exposed to a blast, the collapse of tiny bubbles can magnify the damage on brain cell membranes.

LLNL team demonstrates protein damage by shock waves in traumatic brain injury patients 

January 26, 2016

New research by Lawrence Livermore scientists shows how shock waves can damage membrane proteins in traumatic brain injury patients.

Blast-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) from improvised explosive devices is the most frequent wound occurring from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Estimates suggest more than 200,000 veterans have had at least one traumatic brain injury.

Clinical reports and in vivo studies show exposure to a blast can cause TBI, although how the energy is transmitted to the brain is not well understood.

That's where Livermore researchers come in. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, LLNL physicists Ed Lau  and Eric Schwegler , along with University of North Carolina colleague Max Berkowitz, found that ion channels are resistant to damage by shock waves. But with the presence of bubbles, the damage from shock waves is magnified and can contribute to an electrolyte imbalance within cells that can lead to the initial symptoms of TBI, such as headaches and seizures.


Supercomputer-generated graphic of buildings.

LLNL joins Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to promote industry adoption of supercomputing

September 16, 2015

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) will combine decades of expertise to help American industry and businesses expand use of high performance computing (HPC) under a recently signed memorandum of understanding.

"It's well recognized that HPC is key to accelerating technological innovation and to fueling a nation's economic vitality," said Fred Streitz, director of LLNL's High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC), which facilitates computational engagements with industry. "Our long, fruitful history of collaboration and joint scientific and technological discovery with RPI is a natural platform on which to build opportunities for companies to advance through the use of HPC."

Livermore and Rensselaer will look to bridge the gap between the levels of computing conducted at their institutions and the typical levels found in industry. Scientific and engineering software applications capable of running on HPC platforms are a prime area of interest.


Fred Streitz, right, director of the High Performance Computing Innovation Center, participated in one of the forum's panels, “Software — Partnerships Key to an Innovative Ecology.” Photo by Julie Russell/LLNL

Tri-Valley panelists discuss rise of computing

August 4, 2015

Software development is rapidly transforming computing technology to the benefit of society, but the scarcity of "computing talent in the pipeline" impacts the pace of progress, a panel of computing experts concluded Thursday at Casa Real in Pleasanton.

The lunchtime discussion, under the title "Software — Partnerships Key to an Innovative Ecology," was part of the 7th Annual Innovation Forum, sponsored by the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group. Moderating the event was Peter Burrows of Bloomberg News.

Panelists included Jackie Chen of Sandia National Laboratory, Rob Neely of Lawrence Livermore, Rob Sadow of the Pleasanton-based startup Scoop, and Fred Streitz, director of Lawrence Livermore's High Performance Computing Innovation Center (HPCIC).


In this experimental setup, the hohlraum drives the reservoir-gap configuration, creating a ramped plasma drive that compresses and accelerates the sample without shock melting. The team measured the Rayleigh-Taylor instability ripple growth amount to infer the dynamic flow stress of the sample.

Determining structural evolution under pressure 

March 4, 2015

The study of material properties under the conditions of extreme high pressures and strain rates is very important for understanding meteor, asteroid or comet impacts, as well as in hyper velocity impact engineering and inertial confinement fusion capsules. In a recent study published by Physical Review Letters, a team of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists report an important finding that can be used to determine the evolution of structures under high pressure and strain rates.


Modified graphene aerogels have high surface area and excellent conductivity, and are promising for high-power electrical energy storage applications. Cover image artwork by Ryan Chen.

Energy storage of the future 

October 17, 2014

Personal electronics such as cell phones and laptops could get a boost from some of the lightest materials in the world.

Lawrence Livermore researchers have turned to graphene aerogel for enhanced electrical energy storage that eventually could be used to smooth out power fluctuations in the energy grid.


LLNL researchers Monte LaBute (left) and Felice Lightstone (right) were part of a Lab team that recently published an article in PLOS ONE detailing the use of supercomputers to link proteins to drug side effects.

Supercomputers link proteins to drug side effects

October 20, 2014

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have discovered a high-tech method of using supercomputers to identify proteins that cause medications to have certain adverse drug reactions (ADR) or side effects. They are using high-performance computers (HPC) to process proteins and drug compounds in an algorithm that produces reliable data outside of a laboratory setting for drug discovery.


New work by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Rice University details the binding properties of lithium ions to various types of carbon that may be used for lithium-ion batteries. The

Getting more life out of lithium-ion batteries 

July 23, 2014

Your cell phone may stay charged longer due to advances in modeling lithium-ion battery storage capacity. New research indicates that lithium-ion batteries could benefit from a theoretical model created at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Rice University  that predicts how carbon components will perform as electrodes. The theoretical model also provides guidelines for engineering more effective anodes by modifying the electronic and chemical properties of other candidate materials.