Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Nuclear Chemistry

Advanced studies of nuclear fission, neutron capture, and nuclear isomers, along with the development of radiochemical diagnostics for inertial confined fusion

Contact Us  

  • Group Leader
  • Felicia Taw
  • Deputy Group Leader (Acting)
  • Harshini Mukundan
  • Group Office
  • (505) 667-4546

Radiochemistry is used to isolate reaction products of interest or to make radioactive targets

The Nuclear Chemistry Team engages in advanced studies of nuclear fission, neutron capture, and nuclear isomers, along with the development of radiochemical diagnostics for inertial confined fusion. The team also contributes to the development of new technologies for the ultra-sensitive detection of fundamental properties of the actinides and other isotopes of interest for threat reduction and stockpile stewardship.

Gas flow ionization chamber.Data for neutron energies.

  • Top Left: Constructed gas flow ionization chamber to measure the neutron-induced fission cross section for the short lived isotope 237U at the Lead Slowing-Down Spectrometer (LSDS) at LANSCE.
  • Top Right: Preliminary look at the data for neutron energies between 2 eV and 2 keV shows fission resonances that are most likely from 237U as indicated by arrows in figure.

Thorium nuclear isomer.

  • Towards a Nuclear Clock: a team observed the de-excitation the 229mThorium nuclear isomer. This sought-after discovery lays the ground work for the development of a"nuclear" clock, as well as other exciting possibilities in nuclear, atomic, condensed matter and optical physics, quantum information, metrology and cosmology.

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