MPDH: Multi-Probe Diagnostic Hall
The performance of materials in dynamics extremes, also known as compression science, is vital to a broad spectrum of engineering and defense applications related to Los Alamos National Laboratory's national security science mission.
In addition to supporting the certification of our nuclear stockpile in the absence of underground testing and a broad spectrum of engineering and defense applications, compression science has altered our view of the material world around us. The discovery of unexpected physical and chemical phenomena and new materials through the application of compression science techniques has led to a new and refined understanding of the nature of chemical bonding in extreme environments. It is clear, however, that many important aspects regarding the response of materials to compressive loading are still not understood, let alone modeled in a predictive mode. As a result, we have not derived the many benefits that a predictive understanding would bring.
To enable the transformation from the present era of observation to that of control of material's functionality and performance, new scientific tools are needed. MaRIE's MPDH will enable multiple, simultaneous measurements at the micron frontier to address a variety of compelling applications, such as in situ, real-time, threedimensional, experimental microstructural quantification in extreme environments, multiscale fluid dynamics, or extreme electromagnetic field interactions with matter. Such measurements allow discovery of mechanisms and validation of simulations.
MaRIE will provide dynamic observations of microstructure that yield control of materials needed to reduce costs and increase confidence in the nuclear stockpile or advanced nuclear energy systems. In order to meet the facility functional requirements, the MPDH-preferred alternative incorporates simultaneous and multiple x-ray, optical, electron, proton, and neutron probes.
Under dynamic and shock loading conditions the loading is many times severe enough to force the material to undergo what is termed solid-to-solid phase transformation—transitions between different spatial symmetry arrangements of the atoms comprising the material. These are important since the mechanical properties of each solid phase can be different and the density of each of the solid phases can also differ substantially. Depending upon the material, phase transformation and damage could occur independent from one another or depending upon the density and volume changes involved could be inter-related.
Our understanding of how these complex dynamic physical events are linked to the detailed three-dimensional nature of these materials is limited. Without this understanding we will be unable to develop predictive models of this behavior or intelligently design materials to prevent damage and failure events under severe loading conditions.