LLNL explores laser beam shaping to improve metal 3D printing

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are addressing the issue of porosity and other phenomenon that causes defects in metal 3D printing by exploring alternative shapes to the Gaussian beams commonly employed in high-power laser printing processes such as laser powder bed fusion (LBPF).

Three PPPL scientists win competitive awards to conduct frontier plasma science work

World-class expertise in the study of plasma — the hot, charged state of matter composed of free electrons and atomic nuclei, or ions, that makes up 99 percent of the visible universe — has won frontier science projects for three physicists at PPPL.

Smashing gold with finesse: Shockless compression experiments at the National Ignition Facility establish new terapascal pressure scales

An international team of researchers, including scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Sandia National Laboratories and the University of Hyogo, have used the world’s most energetic laser – LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) in Livermore, California – and the world’s most powerful pulsed-power facility – Sandia’s Z Machine in Albuquerque, New Mexico – to compress gold and platinum compress to 1 terapascal, deriving new pressure scales.

Experiments validate the possibility of helium rain in Jupiter and Saturn

An international team of researchers, including scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, the University of Rochester and the University of California, Berkeley, detail experimental evidence validating the existence of helium rain inside of planets like Jupiter and Saturn, supporting a nearly 40-year-old hypothesis.

Magnetism Meets Topology on a Superconductor’s Surface

Scientists have found an energy band gap—an energy range where no electrons are allowed—opens at a point where two allowed energy bands intersect on the surface of an iron-based superconductor. This unusual electronic energy structure could be used for quantum information science and electronics.

Giant lasers compress iron oxide, revealing the secret interior structure of rocky exoplanets

Advances in astronomical observations have resulted in the discovery of an extraordinary number of extrasolar planets, some of which are believed to have a rocky composition similar to Earth. Learning more about their interior structure could provide important clues about their potential habitability. Led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), a team of researchers aims to unlock some of these secrets by understanding the properties of iron oxide – one of the constituents of Earth’s mantle – at the extreme pressures and temperatures that are likely found in the interiors of these large rocky extrasolar planets.

Experiments at the National Ignition Facility probe carbon at record pressures

Decades of studies have shown that carbon’s crystal structure has a significant impact on material properties. In addition to graphite and diamond, the most common carbon structures found at ambient pressures, scientists have predicted several new structures of carbon that could be found above 1,000 gigapascals (GPa). These pressures, approximately 2.5 times the pressure in Earth’s core, are relevant for modeling exoplanet interiors but have historically been impossible to achieve in the laboratory. That is, until now. Under the Discovery Science program, which allows academic scientists access to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) flagship National Ignition Facility (NIF), an international team of researchers led by LLNL and the University of Oxford has successfully measured carbon at pressures reaching 2,000 GPa (5 times the pressure in Earth’s core), nearly doubling the maximum pressure at which a crystal structure has ever been directly probed.

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.

Breaking the Power & Speed Limit of Lasers

SUMMARYResearchers at the George Washington University have developed a new design of vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) that demonstrates record-fast temporal bandwidth. This was possible by combining multiple transverse coupled cavities, which enhances optical feedback of the laser. VCSELs have emerged…

Record EOS measurement pressures shed light on stellar evolution

Using the power of the National Ignition Facility (NIF), the world’s highest-energy laser system, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and an international team of collaborators have developed an experimental capability for measuring the basic properties of matter, such as the equation of state (EOS), at the highest pressures thus far achieved in a controlled laboratory experiment. The results are relevant to the conditions at the cores of giant planets, the interiors of brown dwarfs (failed stars), the carbon envelopes of white dwarf stars and many applied science programs at LLNL. According to the authors, the overlap with white dwarf envelopes is particularly significant – this new research enables experimental benchmarks of the basic properties of matter in this regime. The results should ultimately lead to improved models of white dwarfs, which represent the final stage of evolution for most stars in the universe.

Laser, Biosciences Researchers Combine Efforts to Study Viruses in Droplets

Laser and biology experts at Berkeley Lab are working together to develop a platform and experiments to study the structure and components of viruses like the one causing COVID-19, and to learn how viruses interact with their surrounding environment. The experiments could provide new insight on how to reduce the infectiousness of viruses.

UCI physicists exploring use of Blu-ray disc lasers to kill COVID-19, other viruses

Irvine, Calif., May 19, 2020 – A new weapon in the arsenal against the coronavirus may be sitting in your home entertainment console. A team led by physicist Chris Barty of the University of California, Irvine is researching the use of diodes from Blu-ray digital video disc devices as deep-ultraviolet laser photon sources to rapidly disinfect surfaces and the indoor air that swirls around us.

Under pressure: Researchers compress copper, creating the densest object on Earth

If copper was found in the core of Saturn it would have the same crystalline structure as the copper pipes found in many homes, according to new research from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Johns Hopkins University.

In a paper published today by Physical Review Letters, the research team reveals that copper maintains its crystalline structure at pressures ranging from one atmosphere (room pressure) to more than 30 million atmospheres.

New Research Finds Lead Toughens Up Under Extreme Conditions

In a new paper published as an “Editors’ Suggestion” in Physical Review Letters, a team of researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has demonstrated that lead – a metal so soft that it is difficult to machine at ambient conditions – responds similarly to other much stronger metals when rapidly compressed at high pressure.