High Energy Density science is the study of matter and energy under extreme conditions, such as condensed matter at densities found in the core of giant planets or hot plasmas typical of stellar interiors.
This work demands integration of a range of disciplines, from atomic, plasma, nuclear, and condensed-matter physics to high-performance computing diagnostics and instrumentation, materials science, and micro-fabrication.
LLNL’s existing and emerging HED facilities are enabling researchers to recreate conditions at the cores of planets and stars and to test fundamental states and processes in stellar evolution. At the same time, LLNL’s computational capabilities are allowing teams to interpret experiments at a more fundamental level and simulate the evolution of HED phenomena from basic principles. LLNL’s capabilities thus create a microphysics observatory for astrophysical phenomenon, exploring materials in a new quantum regime, and manipulating matter and energy toward controlled fusion.
Research Areas at LLNL
- Dynamic material properties
- Fusion, implosion, and stagnation science
- Laser target physics
- Plasma physics
- Radiation physics
- Shock physics
- Theory and modeling
To learn more about the scope of HED science research conducted at LLNL, we invite you to view our list of recent publications by staff who work at LLNL’s Jupiter Laser Facility, as well as publications by our staff who work in Discovery Science at LLNL’s National Ignition Facility.
In addition, you can browse a sampling of highlighted news regarding HED science research at LLNL:
- "Summer scholars learn value of team science," Newsline (2018)
- “NIF achieves record double fusion yield,” Newsline (2018)
- “Experiments shed new light on supernovae,” Newsline (2018)
- “Record experiments probe exoplanetary cores,” Newsline (2018)
- “Ramp compression of iron provides insight into core conditions of large rocky exoplanets,” Newsline (2018)
- “First experimental evidence for superionic ice,” Newsline (2018)
- “Plasma optic combines lasers into superbeam,” Newsline (2017)
- “Fast heat flows in warm dense aluminum,” Newsline (2017)
- “A new way to examine space, bugs and bones,” Newsline (2017)
- “Recreating conditions inside stars in the laboratory with compact lasers,” Newsline (2017)
- “Laser experiments illuminate the cosmos,” Science & Technology Review (2016)
- “Taming the wild frontiers of plasma science,” Science & Technology Review (2016)
- “Lasers shed light on the universe’s most luminous events,” Science & Technology Review (2016)
- “These space rocks could save the planet,” Newsline (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)
- “Record simulations conducted on LLNL supercomputer,” Newsline (2013)