The Energetic Materials Center (EMC) is operated jointly by the PLS, Global Security and Weapons and Complex Integration directorates at Lawrence Livermore to conduct research and development on the performance of high explosives. Initially established as a core element of the nuclear weapons program, EMC has grown to also support research and development for advanced conventional weapons, rocket and gun propellants, homeland security, demilitarization, and industrial applications of energetic materials. EMC researchers combine breakthrough computer simulation codes, state-of-the-art experimental diagnostics, and a culture in which theory- and experiment-based chemists and physicists work together to provide a detailed understanding of the chemistry and physics of energetic materials, their applications to national defense, and the performance of high explosives and how their performance may change over time.
The EMC conducts much of its experimental work at LLNL's High Explosives Applications Facility (HEAF) and the Laboratory's remote Site 300. HEAF and Site 300 house unique facilities for the synthesis, characterization, and testing of high explosives and other energetic materials. HEAF and Site 300 are also equipped with extensive, high-fidelity, high-speed diagnostic capabilities, including x-ray radiography, high-speed photography, laser velocimetry, and embedded particle velocity/pressure measurements.