Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Research Paper
~ M.J. Banks, ZFT
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is located at 7000 East Avenue, Livermore, CA. Borne in 1952; it originally was part of the UC Berkeley Radiation program in competition with military weapons programs near Los Alamos NM’s Manhattan Project. For purposes of growth and expansion, the naval air base of Livermore once reconfigured became a pivotal installation for radiation research in northern California. Of the lab’s principle successes during its formative years includes thermonuclear and fission magnetic confinement. At its point of establishment and operations LLNL resided within Alameda County unincorporated as a township, both then and now officially owned by the United States federal gov’t, but now is now an annexed portion of the greater Livermore metropolitan area, easily accessible by Interstate 580 in the beautiful hills and climate of central California.
For LLNL the approximate budget of LLNL is $1.5 Billion allocated for research and campus operations. Official programs of research and science include ignition technology, nuclear weapon deterrent safety security and reliability, advanced computational systems simulation, nonproliferation, applied science, defense and security planning, and energy sector research and engineering. Such onsite operations also included are information safeguards and security, facility operations, and a profuse environmental restoration program linked to the afore-mentioned energy program.
LLNL’s luminaries are Ernest O. Lawrence and Edward Teller the latter considered the father of the “H-Bomb” by his research and discovery. The latter, Lawrence, was the inventor in 1929 of the cyclotron, particles accelerator in which charged particles accelerate outwards from the center along a spiral path, held together in spiral trajectory by a static electromagnetic field and accelerated by variable radio frequencies and electric field containment. Teller, aided by his former student Herbert York, instituted four principle programs: Magnetic Fusion, Weapons Design, Basic Physics, and Weapons Diagnostics Research and Development, the latter became a prolific component of both LLNL and the most substantial counterpart at the time, Los Alamos Labs. From thenceforth Lawrence began a catchall approach to scholarly and attitudinal wherewithal he termed as “big science” quickly incorporated by York and others, which began the process of scientific discovery with aptitude, approaching tasks with a multifaceted plethora of specialists for each individual project, by including methodic specialists such as applied mathematicians, engineering technologists, chemists, and physicists.
In its existence, the LLNL has advanced its research and development through computation. Its founders, Lawrence and Teller, acknowledged and advanced the relevance of potential within computer sciences, particularly for the application of simulation technology. In days of old – when computers were immense and hefty they acquired for their applicable advances a UNIVAC computer, by far not the same as process-servers of today’s standards it was and is a primordial beast today’s students would call an advanced calculator the size of an industrial refrigerator. Thus began the trend of LLNL’s acquisition and utilization of quick and efficient supercomputers. This overtime has led to LLNL developing the world’s fastest cluster of supercomputers, with the computational power of 16 petaflops [16 thousand trillion calculations/second [16 quadrillion]] as of 2012, across an array of 1.6 Million processing cores, all to test and research LLNL’s original claim to fame, Nuclear Science.
Livermore’s focus has long focused on design concepts for weapons design, despite three failed nuclear tests, but perseverance toward adaptation and innovation lead to their first of many successful nuclear ventures. Due to their successes, the American military tasked LLNL to create a warhead for the US Navy. The missile named Polaris required a multitude of innovations rather than retrofitting size and design of trajectory weaponry. During the McCarthy era, the Livermore warheads stocked America’s nuclear arsenal, though most Livermore missile models no longer in use. As global nuclear fears began to subside, scientific directives of LLNL began changing focus from tactical nuclear application to strategic containment known as the Stockpile Stewardship Program. Practical approaches to security and nuclear material integrity arose while refraining from its use for nuclear testing, which initiated a steady program of monitoring, assessing, repairing, and warehousing nuclear materials as functional or decommissioned munitions, in the “Reliable Replacement Warhead Program.” The tasks within the security aspect included the many nuclear-disarmament protest groups that opposed the very existence of nuclear materials during occasional protests of storage and/or research sporadically organized over the past twenty years.
In regards to the development of nuclear materials, Livermore has taken interest to the properties of plutonium, its potential during its aging process, and its durability. LLNL research focuses around the complex crystalline structural densities of its alloys during the substance’s perfunctory simultaneous variable states, The overall goal of this process is to note the structural, electrical, and chemical properties of plutonium and supplemental alloys, to annotate those properties for the scientific community to use in the future maintenance of nuclear materials. “SuperBlock” is the name given to the LLNL research facility where uranium and plutonium research occurs, with the blessing of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Livermore labs conducts research plutonium tests involving device delivery engineering, detonation R&D, and laser physics. Plutonium used by the LLNL is not an onsite commodity so extremists cannot easily find it in their gift shop . As the NNSA relocated nuclear materials from all federal testing facilities the era of nuclear weaponry became an era of nuclear safety, and thusly did Livermore face this task.
LLNL attempts at this stage to maintain the ontological peace that the scientific community regularly endeavors to create, doing so in four focused disciplines. First of which is nonproliferation, the detection and prevention of resources, tech, and experts from spreading destruction. The second in the list is homeland defense, creating and displaying aptitude and capability in tandem with the DOD to seize and annul threats to civilian, citizen, and service allies. The third aspect is refinement of nonproliferation standards in the intelligence community then using technology to provide security and analyze threats imposed by enemies of the state. Fourthly, domestic-security, the measuring, making, and meting tech solutions to inhibit extremists and prevent catastrophe. Lastly is environmental and energy policy, the flourish of scientific wit and knowhow for the creation of energy and environmental solutions for today’s society. LLNL’s protection of energy and environmental sectors’ security is in effect an attempt to lessen the dangers of nuclear proliferation, securing nuclear armaments and collecting stray materials has been a task of Livermore Labs for the better part of sixty years, more recently developing improved state-of-the-art biological detection systems designed specifically for mobility and automation. These efforts occur to prevent threats in sciences such as, nuclear radiology, chemical, biological, munitions, and cyber security. .
LLNL is among all these things purveyors of advancements in physics, such as matter compression, optics, energy density, medical and biophysics, and nuclear particle acceleration. These forays into the comprehension of scientific ability will allow the future of science to evolve for the better, possibly allowing generations of scientists to discover the ‘big bang’ and unravel the mystery of dark energy, multiverses, Einstein’s “unified theory”, gathering extraordinary evidence for extraordinary theories, scouring the astral plane and finding cosmological proof.
“What really interests me is whether God had any choice in creating the world.”
~ Albert Einstein
Thus far, in only 60 years LLNL has achieved several breakthroughs in the fields of chemical engineering, nuclear chemistry, materials science, biology and bio-nanotechnology, carbon and climate conditions, energy, water and the environment, the national nuclear waste repository, micro and nanotechnology, lasers and optics, biotechnology, precision engineering, computer modeling and simulation, systems and decision science, sensors, imaging and communications. As well as, computing applications and research, integrated communications systems, cyber security, coal gasification, shale oil extraction, geothermal energy, energy cell research, solar energy, fusion, and oil shale processing technologies. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a massive dynamic in the state of human scientific existence, in metaphoric expression it is a beast. Its achievements in nuclear deterrence and military application alongside nuclear storage procedures have kept countless people from radiation poisoning. Their research and refinement of nuclear radiation laser containment is infamous and vital to the future of the field. Breakthroughs and accelerations in server clustering has constantly aided and abetted improvements in computer hardware proficient into trillions of computational calculations per second. With advances in genomics, biotechnology, and biological substance detection, including contributions to the entire sequencing of the human genome, aside their other technologies and systems for detecting nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, and explosives.
Biological and medical, computing and communications, energy and environment, aerospace and transportation, life and leisure enhanced by the scientific advancements created by LLNL, were started by the vision of Lawrence and Teller. If they could only see what hope society is given, the progress of researches, the growth of sustainability measures, and the happiness their discoveries have helped to unfurl what has happened through technological progress.