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Susan J. Seestrom,
Associate Director
Experimental Physical
Sciences

 

 

 

Today it can take years to develop and qualify new materials for programs—whether it is nuclear weapons or nuclear fuels. Our goal with MaRIE is to accelerate this process by enhancing predictive capability—the ability to compute a priori the material functionality we seek using verified and validated simulation tools.

EPS Vistas home >>

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s facility future

To achieve breakthrough scientific discoveries in the 21st century, an integration of world-leading experimental facilities with capabilities in theory, modeling, and simulation is necessary. In this issue of Experimental Physical Sciences Vistas, I am excited to present our plans for Los Alamos National Laboratory’s future flagship experimental facility, MaRIE (Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes). MaRIE is a facility that will provide transformational understanding of matter in extreme conditions required to reduce or resolve key weapons performance uncertainties, develop the materials needed for advanced energy systems, and transform our ability to create materials by design.

 

Our unique role in materials science–starting with the Manhattan Project–has positioned us well to develop a contemporary materials strategy pushing the frontiers of controlled functionality—the design and tailoring of a material for the unique demands of a specific application. Controlled functionality requires improvement in
understanding the structure and properties of materials in order to synthesize and process materials with
unique characteristics.

 

Today it can take years to develop and qualify new materials for programs—whether it is nuclear weapons or nuclear fuels. Our goal with MaRIE is to accelerate this process by enhancing predictive capability—the ability to compute a priori the material functionality we seek using verified and validated simulation tools. MaRIE will achieve this science-based approach using advanced experimental tools, theoretical models, and multi-physics codes.

 

Our first issue of Vistas focused on our current national user facilities (the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center [LANSCE], the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory-Pulsed Field Facility [NHMFL], and the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies [CINT]) and the vitality they bring to our Laboratory. These facilities are a magnet for students, postdoctoral researchers, and staff members from all over the world. This, in turn, allows us to continue to develop and maintain our strong staff across the relevant disciplines and conduct world-class discovery science.

 

The second issue of Vistas was devoted entirely to the Laboratory’s materials strategy—one of the three strategic science thrusts for the Laboratory. This strategy has helped focus our thinking for MaRIE. We believe there is a bright future in cutting-edge experimental materials research, and that a 21st-century facility with unique capability is necessary to fulfill this goal. The Laboratory has spent the last several years defining MaRIE, and this issue of Vistas presents our current vision of that facility.

 

MaRIE will leverage LANSCE and our other user facilities, as well as our internal and external materials community, for decades to come, giving Los Alamos a unique competitive advantage, advancing materials science for the Laboratory’s missions and attracting and recruiting scientists of international stature. MaRIE will give the international materials research community a suite of tools capable of meeting a broad range of outstanding grand challenges.

 

—Susan J. Seestrom


 



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