HED Science Research at LLNL

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.

scientists with laser

Research Areas at LLNL

  • Astrophysics
  • Dynamic material properties
  • Fusion, implosion, and stagnation science
  • Laser target physics
  • Plasma physics
  • Radiation physics
  • Shock physics
  • Theory and modeling

Research Highlights

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: