Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico

Coordinator: Mike Cuneo

Read the full description of Sandia New Mexico's residency opportunities.

For more than 60 years, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has delivered essential science and technology to resolve the nation's most challenging security issues. Sandia's research staff works at the forefront of innovation, collaborating in research with universities and companies and pursuing discretionary research projects with significant potential impact. The Pulsed Power Sciences Center at Sandia is the steward of pulsed power science and applications for the United States. SNL scientists perform high energy density experiments on the Z facility and other facilities at Sandia and throughout the country.

Sandia offers fellowship opportunities in the following areas:

Pulsed-power science and engineering and accelerator design

Led by the Z Pulsed Power Facility, the world's most powerful pulsed-power accelerator, Sandia’s Pulsed Power Sciences Center conducts experiments that achieve unprecedented and extreme states of matter. The center develops the world's most advanced pulsed-power-accelerator technology and users field experiments in inertial confinement fusion (ICF), materials science, X-ray radiography, weapon effects, radiation physics, laboratory astrophysics and other areas.

Radiation magneto-hydrodynamics/nuclear astrophysics

Sandia’s radiation magneto-hydrodynamics and nuclear physics research contributes to the lab’s ICF program and to models that test and predict how materials and systems respond to extreme radiation. The program researches radiation and diffusive transport, magnetically driven plasma instability growth, and the effects of magnetic fields on fundamental transport properties. Fusion research focuses on Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion (MagLIF), which combines powerful magnetic fields with laser preheating to generate significant fusion yields on the Z machine.

Atomic physics and visible/UV/X-ray spectroscopy

Atomic physics and applied spectroscopy contribute to Sandia’s High Energy Density (HED) Science and ICF programs and include theoretical, computational and experimental activities. Spectroscopy is among the most powerful diagnostics available to probe HED plasma conditions at the smallest spatial and temporal scales and under the hottest and densest conditions. It also has directly measured plasma electric and magnetic fields, plasma spatial structure, and plasma fusion conditions such as densities, temperatures, impurity mix and other properties. There is a strong theme of atomic physics and spectroscopy in the Z fundamental science program, which permits university research on the Z facility.

  • Atomic physics
    Atomic physics research focuses on atomic processes in dense plasmas, including effects on ionization, energy level structure and spectral line shapes. Researchers test predictions against data from HED facilities. Z machine experiments study plasma opacity at stellar interior conditions, photoionized plasmas like those found around black holes, and plasma density’s effects on spectral line shapes observed from white dwarf stars.

  • Applied spectroscopy
    Visible and X-ray spectroscopy is a key diagnostic for determining plasma characteristics. The Pulsed Power Sciences Center has a world-leading capability to measure and interpret spectra from ICF and HED plasmas. Researchers also work with the international spectroscopy community to advance instrumentation.

Dynamic materials/shock physics

HED material physics researchers employ and develop experiments and theoretical methods to study matter under extreme conditions. The resulting data help understand the structure of Earth and giant planets, planetary impacts, HED and ICF experiments and national security tests. Researchers develop temperature and X-ray diffraction diagnostics and a pre-compression cell capability for Z; phase-transition kinetics experiments on the THOR facility; and time-resolved X-ray diffraction of dynamic compression at Argonne National Laboratory’s Advanced Photon Source. Theoretical research centers on advanced methods for calculating phase transitions in solids, transport properties of matter under extreme conditions, and equation of state tables. There is a strong theme of dynamic materials and shock physics in the Z fundamental science program, which permits university research on the Z facility.