Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

Science, Technology, and Engineering

Delivering mission success and innovative solutions to national security problems through the agile, rapid application of our transformational scientific capabilities
  • LANL Science Goes Big in 2017

    From inner to outer space, LANL Science goes big in 2017


  • Funding boosts exascale computing research

    Los Alamos to lead Co-Design Center as part of DOE Exascale Computing Project


  • Research on mutational signatures in the genome of cancer cells

    Study identifies telltale mutational signatures associated with smoking tobacco


  • First detection of boron on the surface of Mars

    First detection of boron on the surface of Mars


  • Visualizing ocean asteroid impact

    Visualizing ocean asteroid impact


  • Schema of a self-assembled metamaterial

    Self-assembly approach to fabricating nanoscale metamaterials


  • Predictions of neodymium

    The quest for the origin of the elements


Contact Us  

  • Principal Associate Director
  • John Sarrao
  • Deputy Principal Associate Director
  • Carol Burns
  • PADSTE Office
  • (505) 667-8597

Scientific capabilities for mission excellence

To meet a growing complexity of threats and challenges, the Principal Associate Directorate for Science, Technology and Engineering (PADSTE) maintains broad and deep science, technology and engineering capabilities throughout its science organizations. These capabilities are leveraged to meet the Laboratory’s diverse national security missions.

Integrating and applying these capabilities rapidly and effectively to meet new challenges—across the Laboratory and with our strategic partners—is a key advantage for the nation in an increasingly urgent security landscape.

Multidisciplinary capabilities resolve complex challenges

The people in PADSTE organizations are the key resource for Los Alamos, bringing together the advanced skills and expertise that make up our multidisciplinary capabilities. By strategically applying these scientific and technological capabilities, the Laboratory continues to resolve complex challenges facing the nation.

PADSTE Science Organizations

Chemistry, Life & Earth Sciences (ADCLES)

Through its Chemistry, Bioscience and Earth & Environmental Sciences divisions, the CLES Directorate is home to a wide diversity of capability-focused groups whose work spans the Laboratory’s major mission areas of stockpile stewardship, global security and energy security.

Engineering Sciences (ADE)

The Engineering Sciences Directorate is the parent organization for engineering and fabrication services within the Laboratory. ADE maintains, develops and deploys all R&D engineering and fabrication resources to LANL technical programs.

Experimental Physical Sciences (ADEPS)

The EPS Directorate’s research experiments stimulate solutions for some of the most intractable national security problems, including nuclear weapons stewardship, homeland security, intelligence & information analysis and nuclear & alternative energy. The directorate's research and experimental facilities span a broad range of complex scientific areas. We often combine forces with colleagues in theoretical physics, high-performance computing, and computational science to formulate experience to validate theories and computational models.

Theory, Simulation & Computation (ADTSC)

The TSC Directorate applies science-based prediction to nuclear weapon stewardship, the reliable replacement warhead and beyond. The Directorate supports all other current and emerging national security missions, such as threat reduction, intelligence, homeland security, energy, infrastructure, nano science and technology and biological science, as well as most science frontiers from biophysics to astrophysics.

Strategic programs & partnerships leverage our research

In today’s dynamic national security and technical environment, strategic partnerships and collaborations allow PADSTE to cost-effectively leverage our research to accomplish programmatic goals. Partnering with academic institutions, industry and other laboratories, we leverage our science and technology for the nation’s benefit.

Applied Energy Programs

With energy use increasing across the nation and the world, Los Alamos is using its world-class scientific capabilities to enhance national energy security by developing energy sources with limited environmental impact and by improving the efficiency and reliability of the energy infrastructure.

Civilian Nuclear Energy Office

The Civilian Nuclear Programs Office is the focal point for nuclear energy research and development and next-generation repository science at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The Civilian Nuclear Programs Office manages projects funded by the Department of Energy's offices of Nuclear Energy, Environmental Management and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD)

The LDRD Program is a prestigious source of research and development (R&D) funding awarded through a rigorous and highly competitive peer-review process. As the sole source of discretionary R&D funding at the Laboratory, LDRD resources are carefully invested in high-risk, potentially high-payoff activities that build technical capabilities and explore ways to meet future mission needs.

National Security Education Center (NSEC)

NSEC focuses on collaborations for education and strategic research and student opportunities. Its strategic centers, institutes, and education programs are chartered to foster high quality, multi-program and multi-division research efforts, specialized recruiting and strategy development.

Office of Science

Through the DOE Office of Science, Los Alamos conducts long-term, national-security-inspired, fundamental science. These often high-risk and high-payoff efforts enable remarkable discoveries and tools that transform our understanding of energy and matter and advance the national, economic and energy security of the United States.

Science Resource Office 

The Laboratory's Science Resource Office (SRO) programs are the recognized model for driving scientific and technical excellence. SRO builds and maintains a suite of high-quality functions that enable the R&D mission of the Laboratory.

SRO's major activities include

  • leading the Lab-wide effort to conduct annual science and technology assessments required by DOE for management of Los Alamos
  • managing the Research Library, one of the premier digital libraries in the world, providing state-of-the-art information technology tools to our research community and developing innovative web technologies to further information availability, accessibility and management
  • publishing 1663 magazine, which highlights the Lab's forefront research and programmatic activities
  • providing support and advocacy for Los Alamos' foreign national community, a critical source of world-class researchers furthering the Lab mission

In addition, SRO facilitates a broad range of multi-faceted activities that promote the science and technology missions of Los Alamos

Science Pillars define our strategic capabilities

The Laboratory has established the Science Pillars under four main themes to bring together the Laboratory's diverse array of scientific capabilities and expertise. The Science Pillar concept is the primary tool the Laboratory uses to manage our multidisciplinary scientific capabilities and activities.

Information, Science & Technology for Prediction (IS&T)

The IS&T Pillar is developing IS&T capabilities in computational co-design, data science at scale and complex networks. We are leveraging advances in theory, algorithms and the exponential growth of high-performance computing to accelerate the integrative and predictive capability of the scientific method.

Science of Signatures (SoS)

The SoS Pillar is revolutionizing measurements for threat-specific signatures; discovering signatures that identify and characterize threats, and deploying advanced technology. We are applying science and technology to intransigent problems of system identification and characterization in areas of global security, nuclear defense, energy and health.

Materials for the Future

The Materials Pillar will allow us to predict and create new materials functionality in previously inaccessible extremes. In materials science, we are optimizing materials for national security applications by predicting and controlling their performance and functionality through discovery science and engineering.

Nuclear and Particle Futures (NPF)

In the NPF Pillar, we are integrating nuclear experiments, theory and simulation to understand and engineer complex nuclear phenomena. The NPF Pillar focuses on fundamental advancements in:

  • Nuclear and particle science, astrophysics, and cosmology
  • Applied nuclear science and engineering
  • High energy density plasmas and fluids
  • Accelerators and electrodynamics
Signature facilities support transformative solutions

Our signatures facilities are a critical component for maintaining the vitality and leadership of our science, technology and engineering capabilities for national security.

These facilities support the transformative solutions realized by our employees’ skills and expertise in research and development.

National User Facilities

Capability reviews

Each year, Los Alamos National Laboratory organizes numerous external reviews, called capability reviews, to measure and continuously improve the quality of its science, technology and engineering (STE). To learn more, go to the Capability Review webpage.