Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

Applied Modern Physics

From the first bionic eye to airport scanners that detect liquid explosives, our expertise in developing advanced diagnostics results in real-world innovations.

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  • Deputy Group Leader
  • Maria Rightley
  • Email
  • Deputy Group Leader
  • Tom Venhaus
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A history of excellence in the development and use of advanced diagnostics

Applied Modern Physics (P-21) engages in a broad range of basic, applied research and technology development in experimental and computational neuroscience, neural computation, quantum information science, biosecurity, nuclear weapons data analysis, advanced imaging, image analysis, and signal processing.


Applied Modern Physics has a history of excellence in the development and use of advanced diagnostics such as the following:

  • SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) applications to ultra-sensitive magnetic field detection
  • New scientific and technological approaches for functional neuroimaging (e.g., ultra-low field magnetic resonance imaging combined with magnetoencephalography)
  • Ultra-low field magnetic resonance imaging for the detection of liquid explosives
  • Imaging using atomic magnetometry
  • Microfluidics applications
  • Determination of protein structure and function using x-ray crystallography
  • Atom interferometry
  • Optical imaging and tomography of biological tissue
  • Novel applications of radio-frequency sensing
  • Biologically inspired computer vision

Our staff members have ongoing research projects in the following areas:

  • Quantum-enabled secure communications
  • Scalable ion traps for quantum computing simulation
  • Fundamental studies of Bose-Einstein condensates and applications to Bose-Einstein condensates interferometry
  • Brain imaging using ultra-low field magnetic resonance imaging/magnetoencephalography, synthetic cognition, psychophysics, and metagenomics
  • Reaction history, radiography, and weapons diagnostics