Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes (MaRIE)

MaRIE will provide a capability to address the control of performance and production of materials at the mesoscale. MaRIE fills a critical gap in length scale between studies conducted at the integral scale at DARHT and U1a, and at the atomic scale at NIF and Z.  

  • MaRIE

    Why MaRIE

    NNSA does not currently have a capability to understand and test materials response regimes at resolution necessary to understand the linkages between materials microstructure and performance in extreme environments. The process of MaRIE is to resolve this capability gap.

  • An experimental explosive is shown igniting during small-scale impact testing.

    An experimental explosive is shown igniting during small-scale impact testing.

  • Accelerating in to the future

    Accelerating in to the future...

  • Irene Beyerlein and Jason Mayeur examine interfaces in simulation of deformed nanomaterials.

    Irene Beyerlein and Jason Mayeur examine interfaces in simulation of deformed nanomaterials.

  • MaRIE can enable a revolution in manufacturing science

    MaRIE can enable a revolution in manufacturing science

  • Multi-Probe Diagnostic Hall

    Multi-Probe Diagnostic Hall

What is MaRIE 

MaRIE (Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes) is designed to support key NNSA goals to understand the condition of the nuclear stockpile and to extend the life of U.S. nuclear warheads. When combined with the emerging computational capability to simulate materials at ultrahigh resolution, MaRIE will fill the gap in understanding of micro- and mesoscale materials phenomena and how they affect weapon performance.

Two New Predictive Capabilities for Weapons Performance

  1. Extreme Conditions:  The ability to predict how micro- and mesoscale materials properties evolve under weapons-relevant extreme conditions (including aging) and impact performance.
  2. NEW MATERIALS:  The ability to predict the microstructure of new materials (or those resulting from new manufacturing processes) and how that will affect weapons performance.
More Characteristics

A key characteristic of MaRIE is the ability to simultaneously apply several in situ diagnostics to observe transient phenomena at high resolution, in real time, under weapons relevant extreme conditions. Of highest significance are subgranular resolution measurements of phase transformations, heterogeneity, and strength of materials in samples that have been well characterized. The resulting data will be used to build new, or inform existing, high-fidelity materials models for weapons simulation codes. These data are particularly aimed at understanding the behavior of high explosives and plutonium as they apply to implosion dynamics and initial conditions for boost. New understanding will increase confidence in the performance prediction of life-extended weapons and in the success of any technical response to a change in the deterrent imposed by budget realities or external pressures.

6 First Campaigns

These 6 representative experiments have been developed with colleagues from across the nuclear weapons complex and the broader scientific community in order to illustrate the mission impact and scientific potential of MaRIE

Understand the condition of the nuclear stockpile

Dynamic Materials Performance

  1. Multiphase High Explosive Evolution
  2. Dynamic Performance of Plutonium and Surrogate Metals and Alloys
  3. Turbulent Material Mixing in Variable Density Flows

Extend the life of U.S. nuclear warheads

Process Aware Manufacturing

  1. Controlled Solidification and Phase Transformations
  2. Predicting Interfacial Microstructure and Strain Evolution
  3. High Explosive Functionality by Design 

These experiments collectively exemplify the broad scope of the facility and the titles speak to their mission relevance.  This suite of experiments also enables detailed specification of MaRIE scientific and facility functional requirements.


MaRIE could be located at Los Alamos National Laboratory to benefit from essential capability already existing at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), particularly from its proton radiography capability that contributes extensively to resolving weapons issues. To realize the full capability of MaRIE, the facility at LANSCE will add the ability to accelerate the transition from today’s norm of observation and validation of materials performance to a future allowing prediction and control of materials functionality.