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Physical and Life Sciences

Nano-confinement may be key to improving hydrogen production

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have discovered a new mechanism that can boost the efficiency of hydrogen production through water splitting. This research, published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, was featured on the journal cover and provides new insights into the behavior of water reactivity and proton transfer under extreme…

Designing magnets with tunable properties using deep ensembles

Perovskite oxides are gaining significant attention for use in next-generation magnetic and ferroelectric devices due to their exceptional charge transport properties and the opportunity to tune the charge, spin, lattice, and orbital degrees of freedom. Interfaces between perovskite oxides exhibit unconventional magnetic exchange switching behavior, offering a pathway for…

The drive to break a swimming record

Five-time Olympic trials competitor Brandon Fischer knows how to persevere. As one of the oldest competitors in this year’s Olympic trials, the Lawrence Livermore Natonal Laboratory mechanical technologist at the Jupiter Laser Facility broke the 35-39 Masters World Record in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke events. Fischer’s first foray into the water was in the …

LLNL gamma-ray sensor has the best resolution

It’s official. An instrument designed and built by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) researchers is the highest-resolution gamma ray sensor that has ever flown in space. The Livermore high-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma ray sensor is an essential part of a larger gamma-ray spectrometer (GRS) built in collaboration with researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied…

Surface vs. subsurface groundwater contamination at legacy oil site

The ability to identify the source of oilfield groundwater contamination, such as surface releases, wastewater injection, or subsurface well leakage, is critical in selecting proper remedial actions. For example, contamination from historical operations at the land surface can be remediated to prevent off-site migration and the contamination of the local aquifer. However,…

Forensic Science Center to mentor Moroccan lab

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL) Forensic Science Center (FSC) will assist a national laboratory from the North African nation of Morocco under an international program over the next year. As an Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)-designated laboratory for more than two decades, LLNL will work with a Moroccan lab –…

Three selected as Graduate Student Research program recipients

Three graduate students have earned Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program awards to perform their doctoral dissertation research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The prestigious award helps cover living expenses and travel for 60 students from universities across the nation. Their proposed research projects…

Magnesium oxide undergoes dynamic transition when it comes to super-Earth exoplanets

Researchers from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Johns Hopkins University have unlocked new secrets about the interiors of super-Earth exoplanets, potentially revolutionizing our understanding of these distant worlds. The focus of this work, magnesium oxide (MgO), a crucial component of Earth’s lower mantle, is believed to play a similar role in the…

A pattern of temperature change emerges from natural climate fluctuations

When comparing model simulations of Earth’s recent warming to real-world observations, differences can arise from several factors, including model errors in the simulated response to increased greenhouse gases and natural fluctuations within the climate system. Natural climate variability, also called internal variability, can change regional and global atmospheric…

LLNL and BridgeBio announce trials for supercomputing-discovered cancer drug

In a substantial milestone for supercomputing-aided drug design, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and BridgeBio Oncology Therapeutics (BridgeBio) today announced clinical trials have begun for a first-in-class medication that targets specific genetic mutations implicated in many types of cancer. The development of the new drug — BBO-8520 — is the result of…

Germanium isotope really does have an 11-day half-life

Searching for the elusive neutrino takes on many forms. Detectors consisting of many tons of gallium are used in several experiments because neutrino interactions can occur on the stable gallium-71 (71Ga) nucleus and transform it into a radioactive isotope of germanium (71Ge) with an 11-day half-life that can then be observed with traditional radiation detectors. However,…

Finding Livermore: Employees share their LLNL origin stories

With more than 70 years of history and nearly 9,000 current employees, it is not uncommon for several generations of family members to have worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). For those employees with parents or grandparents preceding them, a career at the Laboratory was not in their original plans. In fact, before coming to LLNL, many do not realize…

Unexpected source of nutrients fuels growth of toxic algae from Lake Erie

Climate change, such as warming and changes in precipitation patterns, affects the frequency and severity of harmful algal blooms (HABs) globally, including those of toxin-producing cyanobacteria that can contaminate drinking water. These nutrient-induced blooms cause worldwide public and ecosystem health concerns. Since the mid-1990s, Lake Erie, the shallowest and warmest…

LLNL researchers develop framework for databasing properties of crystal defects

Point defects (e.g. missing, extra or swapped atoms) in crystalline materials often determine the actual electronic and optical response of a given material. For example, controlled substitutions in semiconductors like silicon are the backbone of modern technology. Despite their importance, point defects are notoriously difficult to simulate and characterize, particularly…

Jupiter Laser Facility gets a reboot

Fifty years ago, the first laser, Janus, was installed in Building 174 (renamed the Jupiter Laser Facility in 2006) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Additional lasers, more than 100 Ph.D.s granted time on the system and thousands of international users later, the Jupiter Laser Facility (JLF) celebrated its grand reopening Thursday after a four-year refurbishment,…

Mystery of puffy exoplanet solved

A recent study of the atmosphere of the exoplanet WASP-107b suggests tidal heating is responsible for the exoplanet’s inflated nature and reveals a previously unseen combination of molecules in an exoplanet. A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist and international collaborators have characterized the atmosphere of the exoplanet, WASP-107b, using a…

Lab study on climate sensitivity earns top notch in list of influential research

The American Geophysical Union is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) by showcasing some of the highest-achieving papers that have been published over the past 50 years. A paper by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists is one of the winners. The paper, “Causes of Higher Climate Sensitivity in CMIP6 Models,”…

Manufacturing optimized designs for high explosives

When materials are subjected to extreme environments, they face the risk of mixing together. This mixing may result in hydrodynamic instabilities, yielding undesirable side effects. Such instabilities present a grand challenge across multiple disciplines, especially in astrophysics, combustion and shaped charges — a device used to focus the energy of a detonating explosive…

Accelerating material characterization: Machine learning meets X-ray absorption spectroscopy

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists have developed a new approach that can rapidly predict the structure and chemical composition of heterogeneous materials. In a new study in ACS Chemistry of Materials, LLNL scientists Wonseok Jeong and Tuan Anh Pham developed a new approach that combines machine learning with X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XANES) to…

Lab scientist wins DOE Howes Scholar award for work in computational science

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) postdoc Kyle Bushick has garnered the 2024 Frederick A. Howes Scholar award for technical excellence, leadership and character in his innovative use of atomistic simulations to understand quantum processes and as a champion of inclusivity and community building. “Learning I was selected as a Howes Scholar was an enormous honor…