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The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration and Office of Science announced that 46 research grants totaling $14 million have been awarded as part of the Joint Program in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas.
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.
Six of the grants went to scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
“These awards demonstrate the strong and valuable partnership of NNSA and the Office of Science,” NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino said. “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,” Office of Science Director William Brinkman said.
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 awards range from one to three years. SC and NNSA provided $10 million and $4 million, respectively.
A number of LANL researchers were awarded grants through the program:
• Exploring the theoretical similarities between quark-gluon plasmas and warm dense matter, Ivan Vitev, LANL ($255,000)
• Large scale kinetic plasma simulation of laser-speckle interaction in nonlinear optical systems as a platform for study of self-organization phenomena, Lin Yin, LANL ($260,000)
• Magnetized shock physics for HEDP and astrophysics using a plasmoid accelerator, Tom Intrator, LANL($375,000)
• Shock-driven hydrodynamic instability growth near phase boundaries and material property transitions, Eric Loomis, LANL ($200,000)
• Studies of dynamic, radiative macroscopic magnetized HED plasmas with closed B-field lines, Glen Wurden, LANL ($860,000)
• Warm dense matter simulations beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation, Jerome Daligault, LANL ($275,000).