MSEE Seminar: Dr. Laura Berzak Hopkins, “X-ray:matter interaction experiments at the National Ignition Facility”

Join us for a seminar with Dr. Laura Berzak Hopkins, Design Physicist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, titled “X-ray:matter interaction experiments at the National Ignition Facility.”

The seminar will begin at 3pm ET on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. It will be held via Microsoft Teams.

AbstractThere is a growing number of objects orbiting in exo-atmospheric environments with the potential to be exposed to damaging radiation. These objects tend to be both expensive and important components of transportation and communication infrastructure, and therefore, assuring these sensitive objects are survivable in this potentially hostile environment is of high importance. A family of targets has been developed for the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory that is imploded by the NIF’s 192 lasers to generate bright sources of X-rays. Advanced fielding hardware allows samples to be placed near these X-ray sources, and in-situ diagnostics measure time-resolved response. We implement this experimental capability to collect data on X-ray:sample interaction, including impulsive response with post-shot sample inspection and assessment. Data is then utilized to validate the functionality of our radiation-hydrodynamics simulations which are utilized to predict response and assess the survivability of exo-atomspheric objects of interest.

This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

Speaker BioDr. Laura Berzak Hopkins is a design physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the Physics Lead for the Livermore Survivability Program. Previously, she was the lead designer for the Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) High-Density Carbon (HDC) Integrated Experiments Campaign, which achieved the NNSA alpha-heating milestone with record NIF neutron yield and stagnation pressures. Her work on NIF has included development of low gas-fill density hohlraums and implosion control with laser pulse shaping as well as a gaseous radiochemistry diagnostic. She studied Physics and Chemistry for her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College. Her graduate degree is in Plasma Physics from Princeton University where she was an NNSA Stockpile Stewardship Graduate Fellow. Before joining Livermore, Laura served as a Congressional Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives and then the U.S. Senate advising on arms control policy and environmental regulations.