Exploring explosives for expanding geothermal energy

Why are scientists setting off small-scale explosions inside 1-foot cubes of plexiglass? They’re watching how fractures form and grow in a rock-like substance to see if explosives or propellants, similar to jet fuel, can connect geothermal wells in a predictable manner.Geothermal energy has a lot of promise as a renewable energy source that is not dependent on the sun shining or the wind blowing, but it has some challenges to wide adoption.

LLNL team looks at nuclear weapon effects for near-surface detonations

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory team has taken a closer look at how nuclear weapon blasts close to the Earth’s surface create complications in their effects and apparent yields. Attempts to correlate data from events with low heights of burst revealed a need to improve the theoretical treatment of strong blast waves rebounding from hard surfaces.

LLNL weapon engineers, biologists deliver critical samples to identify skin proteins left on IEDs

Following a terrorist bombing, can the bomb maker be identified by skin proteins left on the bomb components they handled? To address this question, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) personnel from Weapons Complex Integration and Global Security Forensic Science and Biosecurity Centers subjected notional bomb components handled by LLNL volunteers to contained precision explosions. A small team of biology and explosives subject matter experts combined their knowledge and experience to successfully carry out a series of 26 confined detonations over a three-day period.

National Ignition Facility conducts first-ever shot with explosives

The first-ever shot to study a high explosive sample was recently conducted at the National Ignition Facility, the world’s most energetic laser. The results from the shot included novel data that will help researchers unlock the mysteries of high-explosive (HE) chemistry and position Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to continue its legacy as a leader in HE science and diagnostic innovation.

Trace Vapor Generator for Detecting Explosives, Narcotics

Trace vapor detection technologies are crucial for ensuring reliable and safe detection of explosives and illegal drugs. Researchers have developed a compact testing device called the Trace Vapor Generator for Explosives and Narcotics, which is portable and can be used for non-contact sampling of these vapors. In Review of Scientific Instruments, the team reports the TV-Gen can accurately generate trace vapors of low vapor pressure compounds and can produce vapors in complex backgrounds.