Los Alamos National Labs with logo 2021

Physical Sciences

Developing and applying capabilities in materials science, manufacturing, experimental physics and accelerator ST&E to programs and problems of national importance

Contact Us  

  • Associate Laboratory Director
  • Antoninette (Toni) Taylor
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Raeanna Sharp-Geiger
  • LANSCE User Facility Director
  • Michael Furlanetto
  • Directorate Office
  • (505) 665-4454

Research and experimental facilities spanning a broad range of complex scientific areas

Frequently our most basic research experiments stimulate solutions for some of the most intractable national security problems, such as:

  • Nuclear weapons stewardship
  • Homeland security
  • Intelligence and information analysis
  • Nuclear and alternative energy

Using our expertise in materials science, manufacturing, experimental physics, and accelerator ST&E, our scientists and engineers

  • Lead in materials discovery for energy security.
  • Emphasize materials synthesis, processing, properties, and performance through an integrated suite of deliverables from component manufacturing to fundamental materials science.
  • Use manufacturing science to deliver materials and components in support of all LANL programs.
  • Further our understanding of the physical world and generating new/improved technology in experimental physics.
  • Lead in the Lab’s core capability of accelerator and electrodynamics.
  • Enable safe and secure world-class research and accelerator operations.
  • Enhance our contributions to mission performance by developing diverse research portfolios that advance national, economic, and energy security.

Our scientific success often stems from the capabilities of our world-class research and processing facilities, including our Los Alamos National Laboratory-based national user facilities:

The capabilities of our flagship facility, LANSCE, afford us a convenient and powerful opportunity to test our ideas. We often combine forces with colleagues in theoretical physics, high performance computing, and computational science to formulate experiments that can validate theories and computational models.

Key scientific capabilities
  • Experimental physics: plasma physics, high energy density physics, nuclear and particle physics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics
  • Materials science: synthesis, processing, and manufacturing; materials properties and performance; characterization; theory, modeling, and simulation; nanoscience; condensed matter physics
  • Technical research support: synthesis, processing, and manufacturing; characterization; detector development; data acquisition and analysis; equipment maintenance and operation
  • Diagnostics–instrumentation development and operation: spectroscopy, radiography, nuclear magnetic resonance/magnetic resonance imaging, high-field magnets
  • Operation of the Laboratory’s national user facilities: the Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center, and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory-Pulsed Field Facility
Strategic priorities
  • Fostering world-leading science and technology in the physical sciences underpinning Laboratory missions and executing our portfolio of ST&E with integrity
  • Attracting, inspiring, and developing world-class talent to ensure a vital future workforce
  • Enabling MaRIE, the Laboratory’s proposed Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes experimental facility
  • Balancing and growing our portfolio
  • Optimizing our footprint and facilities
  • Continually improving our safety posture
Our researchers have been recognized for their scientific and technical accomplishments

Fellows of the following professional societies

  • Acoustical Society of America
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Ceramic Society
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Institute for Chemical Engineers
  • American Physical Society
  • American Welding Society
  • ASM International
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • Materials Research Society
  • Neutron Scattering Society of America
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • The Electrochemical Society
  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society
  • The Optical Society

Leaders in the following professional societies

  • Acta Materialia Inc., Board of Governors, Chair
  • American Chemical Society, Budget and Finance Committee, Chair
  • American Glovebox Society, President
  • American Physical Society, Committee on Women in Physics, Chair
  • ASM International, Board of Trustees
  • Association for Iron & Steel Technology, Board of Directors
  • National Science Foundation, Condensed Matter Physics, Program Director
  • Society for Experimental Mechanics, Journal of Dynamic Behavior of Materials, Editor-in-chief
  • Society for Advancement of Hispanics/Chicanos & Native American in Science, President
  • The Electrochemical Society, President
  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, Board of Directors 
  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society, President

Recipients of the following awards

  • American Chemical Society’s F. Albert Cotton Award
  • American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics’ François Naftali Frenkiel Award
  • American Physical Society’s John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research
  • Chinese Institute of Engineers-USA’s Asian American Engineer of the Year Award
  • Department of Energy Defense Program Award of Excellence
  • Department of Energy Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award
  • Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies Award
  • Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program R&D Award
  • Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Advanced Modeling and Simulation Excellence Award
  • Department of Energy Nuclear Energy Fuel Cycle Research and Development Program R&D Excellence Award
  • Frank H. Spedding Award
  • German Committee for Research with Neutrons’ Wolfram-Prandl Award
  • Los Alamos Distinguished Performance Award
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow’s Prize for Research
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow’s Prize for Leadership
  • Los Alamos National Laboratory Feynman Innovation Prize
  • NNSA Defense Programs Award of Excellence
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
  • Popular Science’s Innovation of the Year
  • R&D 100 Award
  • The Electrochemical Society’s Energy Technology Division Research Award
  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Young Leaders Professional Development Award
  • The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Structural Materials Division’s Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award