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The Computational Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory

Program in Applied Mathematics Colloquium

The Computational Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Series: Program in Applied Mathematics Colloquium
Location: MATH 501
Presenter: Mark Schraad, Dan Israel, Chris Werner, Rosalyn Rael, Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Weapons Physics Directorate at Los Alamos National Laboratory lies at the center of the United States efforts to understand and model the physics of nuclear weapons.  Within the directorate, the Computational Physics Division is responsible for the development of LANL’s modern modeling and simulation software, used in a variety of applications, including by our weapons design community in the design, assessment, and certification of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.  Needless to say, it is a vibrant research and development environment, with a critical role in the Department of Energy’s Nuclear Security Enterprise.

The division employees approximately 200 Ph.D.-level scientists with backgrounds spanning physics, engineering, and mathematics.  These scientists are spread across 8 technical groups that cover algorithm and code development, computer science for modern architectures, all aspects of weapons-relevant physics (high explosives, equations of state, materials physics, turbulence, nuclear physics, atomic physics, etc.), verification and validation, uncertainty quantification, and a collection of other weapons-relevant topical areas. 

With a healthy mission and changing workforce demographics, we are currently in an aggressive hiring mode and are working to enhance our relationships with top universities, in an effort to recruit new post docs and staff.  In this presentation, we will give an overview of the division, with several short vignettes covering examples of our physics development, code development, and verification and validation efforts, including collaboration opportunities for faculty and employment opportunities for students.