Creating, Diagnosing, and Controlling High-Energy-Density Matter with the National Ignition Facility

Mark Hermann

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Friday, January 22, 2016



IAP Seminars

The National Ignition Facility (NIF), at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the world’s most energetic laser, and has been operating since 2009. NIF is used to perform state-of-the-art experiments in the field of high-energy-density science, including experiments aimed at the goal of thermonuclear ignition in the laboratory. Recent experiments have highlighted the importance of both time-dependent symmetry and capsule support mechanisms in degrading the fusion performance in ignition experiments. In 2015, NIF significantly increased the rate at which experiments are performed, enabling a significant increase in experiments done in collaboration with academic users focused on “Discovery Science.” Researchers obtained exciting results in the areas of high-pressure materials science, radiation hydrodynamics, and plasma astrophysics. NIF continues to develop new capabilities to support user experiments, including the Advanced Radiographic Capability, which enables pulse compression of 4 beamlets (each ½ beam) of NIF to times as short as 1 picosecond. In this talk, we will summarize recent progress on the NIF including the status of and future directions in inertial confinement fusion research, highlights from the Discovery Science program, and new capabilities coming on line including the Advanced Radiographic Capability.