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Press Release

NNSA, DOE Office of Science Award $14M in Research Grants
Sep 20, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Office of Science (SC) today announced that 46 research grants totaling $14 million have been awarded as part of the Joint Program in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP). Contemporary advances in laser, particle beam and pulsed power technologies have made possible the creation of increasingly high energy density states in the laboratory. Studies of such states of matter are providing insights into fields ranging from astrophysics to fusion energy.

“These awards demonstrate the strong and valuable partnership of NNSA and the Office of Science,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. "The work funded will enhance and promote cutting edge research that supports the missions of both organizations. I want to personally congratulate the recipients of these awards for their dedication and leadership.”

“The excellent coordination between NNSA and the DOE Office of Science is enabling us to leverage federal investments in research to advance our understanding of energy and matter," said Office of Science Director William Brinkman.

In recent years, high-level studies, including a 2009 report from the Fusion Energy Science Advisory Committee, have identified numerous basic research needs in HEDLP.

A total of 147 project proposals were received in response to the solicitation. The evaluation process, which included a rigorous peer review by outside experts, led to the selection of 37 projects for funding.

These awards embody the breadth of research in HEDLP science, ranging from the study of magnetized astrophysical jets to large-scale simulation of kinetic laser-plasma interactions, including the areas of high energy density hydrodynamics, nonlinear optics of plasmas, relativistic high energy density plasma and intense beam physics, magnetized high energy density plasma physics, radiation-dominated dynamics and materials properties, warm dense matter, diagnostics and community development.

The project titles, principal investigators, their institutions and first-year funding amounts are listed below. The awards range from one to three years. SC and NNSA provided $10 million and $4 million, respectively.

For more information on the program, please see and

Diverging supernova explosion experiments on NIF
Tomasz Plewa, Florida State University ($135,000)

Electronic structure of warm dense matter via multicenter Green's function technique
Duane Johnson, AMES National Laboratory ($192,000)
Brian Wilson, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ($180,000)

Enabling numerical modeling of extreme-intensity laser produced dense plasma
Yasuhiko Sentoku, University of Nevada, Reno ($145,000)

Experiments and theory on KEEN waves and the Salpeter screening enhancement
Charles Driscoll, University of California, San Diego ($380,000)

Exploring the theoretical similarities between quark-gluon plasmas and warm dense matter
Ivan Vitev, Los Alamos National Laboratory ($255,000)

Fast ignition high energy density science
Pravesh Patel, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ($1,800,000)

Improved instrumentation and theory for X-ray based diagnostics of warm dense matter
Gerald Seidler, University of Washington ($240,000)

Isochoric heating of reduced mass targets: creating star-like plasmas in the laboratory
Kramer Akli, Ohio State University ($147,000)
Scott Wilks, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ($92,000)

Large scale kinetic plasma simulation of laser-speckle interaction in nonlinear optical systems as a platform for study of self-organization phenomena
Lin Yin, Los Alamos National Laboratory ($260,000)

Laser-driven magnetic-flux compression: Applications to Fusion and Basic Science
Riccardo Betti, University of Rochester ($210,000)

Magnetic reconnection high energy density laboratory plasmas
Amitava Bhattacharjee, University of New Hampshire ($270,000)

Magnetized shock physics for HEDP and astrophysics using a plasmoid accelerator
Tom Intrator, Los Alamos National Laboratory ($375,000)

Measuring magnetic fields in collisionless shock experiments on NIF
Hye-Sook Park, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ($145,000)      
Radu Presura, University of Nevada, Reno ($185,000)

Passive focusing of TNSA protons with a stack of conducting foils
Pavel Ni, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ($91,000)
John Barnard, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory ($91,000)

Quantum phenomena in high energy density plasmas
Margaret Murnane, University of Colorado ($305,000)

Resolving the Issue: The dynamics of magnetized astrophysical jets through pulsed power HEDP laboratory studies
Adam Frank, University of Rochester ($575,000)

Scaled Eagle Nebula experiments on NIF
Marc Pound, University of Maryland ($47,000)
Jave Kane, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ($225,000)

Shock-driven hydrodynamic instability growth near phase boundaries and material property transitions
Eric Loomis, Los Alamos National Laboratory ($200,000)
Pedro Peralta, Arizona State University ($144,000)

Studies of dynamic, radiative macroscopic magnetized HED plasmas with closed B-field lines
James Degnan, Air Force Research Laboratory ($1,300,000)
Glen Wurden, Los Alamos National Laboratory ($860,000)
Michael Frese, NumerEx ($320,000)

Study of the internal structure, instabilities and magnetic fields in the dense Z-pinch
Vladimir Ivanov, University of Nevada, Reno ($235,000)

Study of volumetrically heated ultra-high energy density plasmas
Jorge Rocca, Colorado State University ($255,000)

Warm dense matter simulations beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation
Jerome Daligault, Los Alamos National Laboratory ($275,000)

XAFS study of electron-ion equilibration in warm dense matter
Yuan Ping, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory ($300,000)

Relativistic study of X-ray polarization spectroscopy for fusion plasmas
Guo-Xin Chen, Harvard University ($213,682)

Design and fielding of a highly efficient multi-channel X-ray spectrometer for advanced X-ray scattering diagnostics
Roger Falcone, University of California, Berkeley ($297,000)

Continuation of the application of parallel PIC simulations to laser and electron transport through high energy density laboratory plasmas
Warren Mori, University of California, Los Angeles ($223,502)

Development of Talbot-Lau phase-contrast X-ray diagnostics for high energy density laboratory plasmas
Dan Stutman, Johns Hopkins University ($245,176)

Experimental and computational studies of high energy density plasma streams ablated from fine wires
John Greenly, Cornell University ($200,000)

From Z to planets
Stein Jacobsen, Harvard University ($322,135)

HEDLP studies of fields, matter, transport, nuclear physics, and ICF with new diagnostics at the NIF and Omega/Omega-EP
Richard Petrasso, Massachusetts Institute of Technology ($880,000)

High energy density Z-pinch plasmas using flow stabilization: ZaP HD
Uri Shumlak, University of Washington ($342,090)

Physics of pre-plasma and the mechanisms of intense electron beam generation by relativistic laser radiation
Sergei Krasheninnikov, University of California, San Diego ($192,858)

Research on improvement efficiency and focussibility of ultra-intense beam of stimulated Raman amplifier/compressor in plasma
Szymon Suckewer, Princeton University ($261,213)

Single-crystal X-ray spectropolarimetry of Z-pinch plasmas
Radu Presura, University of Nevada, Reno ($234,684)

Spectroscopic determination of the magnetic fields in exploding wire and X pinch plasmas
David Hammer, Cornell University ($75,000)

The dynamics of high energy density plasmas in radial foil configurations
Pierre Gordain, Cornell University ($225,000)

Viscous plastic flow at extreme pressures and strain rates
Guruswami Racichandran, California Institute of Technology ($210,949)
Michael Farrell, General Atomics ($76,500)  

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.