Leading frontier physics research and development for national security and national goals.

The Physics Division (Physics) conducts frontier physics research and development in fields ranging from astrophysics and planetary science, to atomic, nuclear and particle physics, and plasma and high energy density physics. This work includes advanced science and technology development in optical and x-ray science, detectors, accelerators, lasers, space, and fusion. These R&D activities place LLNL at the leading edge of 21st century national security missions.

Physics Division QCD collaborators depend on BlueGene/L for their calculations.
  Physics Division researchers, working with theoretical physicists from around the world, are using the world’s most powerful computer, BlueGene/L, to fill in the missing information about the phase transition from quarks to larger particles that occurred about 10-millionths of a second after the big bang. Quantum chromodynamics (QCD) collaborators (left to right) Pavlos Vranas, Thomas Luu, and Ron Soltz depend on BlueGene/L for their calculations. "We need larger calculations to get good data," says Luu. "BlueGene/L makes it possible."

There are four primary areas that manage these R&D activities:

Applied Physics—Comprising world-class scientists working in optical science, radiation detection, biophotonics, information science, imaging, and medical technology, Applied Physics supports the major program Ddrectorates at LLNL. This division supports biodefense, counter-nuclear terrorism, explosives detection, nuclear stockpile surveillance, medical technology and metrology and diagnostics for NIF.

Nuclear Particle & Accelerator Physics—As the steward of nuclear data for the Laboratory, the Nuclear Particle & Accelerator Physics Division applies its expertise to national security, energy, and healthcare programs.

High Energy Density Physics—This division conducts theoretical and experimental research in high energy density (HED) physics, astrophysics, and advanced diagnostic development, emphasizing areas important to major Laboratory programs.

Fusion Energy Sciences Program—Advances interdisciplinary science and technology in areas central to establishing the scientific basis of magnetic and inertial fusion energy and to further the fundamental understand of plasma physics. FESP also advances particle beam science and technology associated with fusion energy, national security, and medical applications.

PLS physicist and Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) project leader Peter Beiersdorfer describes features of the facility to visitors. PLS physicist and Electron Beam Ion Trap project leader Peter Beiersdorfer describes features of the EBIT facility to visitors.
Jim Trebes, CMMD Division Leader For more information, contact:

James E. Trebes
Division Leader

Employee Highlight: Peter Beiersdorfer

Peter Beiersdorfer is a physicist and project leader of the Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT), a machine used to investigate the fundamental properties of highly charged ions. EBIT produces, traps, and excites very highly charged ions, which can be observed in the trap itself or extracted from the trap for external experiments. "EBIT produces a plasma of ions of any element imaginable by using a magnetically focused electron beam," says Dr. Beiersdorfer. He has conducted hands-on experiments, developed a broad range of diagnostics, and built spectrometers to study EBIT plasmas. Peter Beiersdorfer is the author or coauthor of over 350 scientific publications.