As part of its mission, the HEDS Center helps foster access for students and faculty to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL's) experimental laser facilities, for instance by consulting and advising on experimental proposals for the National Ignition Facility or the Jupiter Laser Facility. University involvement in these laser facilities assists and enhances the HEDS scientific environment at LLNL and creates a forward-looking research effort that provides strategic benefit to both the LLNL and university communities.
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is the world's largest and most energetic laser facility ever built. NIF is also the most precise and reproducible laser as well as the largest optical instrument. The giant laser has nearly 40,000 optics that precisely guide, reflect, amplify, and focus 192 laser beams onto a fusion target about the size of a pencil eraser. NIF became operational in March 2009. NIF is the size of a sports stadium--three football fields could fit inside. The NIF & Jupiter User Group Meetings can be found at the NIF Meetings and Workshops website.
Examples of HEDS experiments enabled by NIF include:
- “Laser Experiments Illuminate the Cosmos,” Science & Technology Review (2016)
- “NIF experiments shed light on turbulent mix,” Newsline (2016)
- “Thinner capsules yield faster implosions,” Newsline (2015)
- “Peering into giant planets from in and out of this world,” Newsline (2014)
The Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) is an institutional user facility in the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The facility is designed to provide a high degree of experimental flexibility and high laser shot rates, and to allow direct user operation of experiments. The annual call for proposals for LLNL's Jupiter Laser Facility can be found at the JLF user program page when such a call becomes available.
Examples of recent HEDS experiments at JLF include:
- “A new way to examine space, bugs and bones,” Newsline (2017)
- “Recreating conditions inside stars in the laboratory with compact lasers,” Newsline (2017)
- “These space rocks could save the planet,” Newsline (2016)
- “Lasers Shed Light on the Universe’s Most Luminous Events,” Science & Technology Review (2016)
LLNL is home to some of the world's most powerful supercomputers and boasts decades of expertise in designing, developing, deploying, and applying high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities to various scientific problems. In late 2017, for instance, the 120-150 petaflop Sierra supercomputer will join Livermore's supercomputer lineup. Livermore supports both classified and unclassified computing, and even has some specialized systems to support big data computing and other newer areas. Most of Livermore's top-ranked supercomputers and computing experts are located in the Livermore Computing Center, formerly known as the Terascale Simulation Facility, and nearby buildings.
Examples of how HPC is employed in HEDS research at LLNL include:
- “Taming the Wild Frontiers of Plasma Science,” Science & Technology Review (2016)
- “Record simulations conducted on Lawrence Livermore supercomputer,” Newsline (2013)
Innovative experiments often require testing and trying before viable concepts for new experiments and targets emerge. The HEDS Center Technology Facility, located near the Jupiter Laser Facility, offers HEDS Center physicists and outside collaborators tools, instrumentation, and support. It is also a venue for early-career scientists to receive hands-on experience and training in experimental tools development.