Alumni Appear in American Physical Society Video

Thursday, March 15, 2018

A recent American Physical Society video includes two alumni of the Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Graduate Fellowship (DOE NNSA SSGF) discussing their work at the National Ignition Facility (NIF).

Laura Berzak Hopkins, a fellow from 2006 to 2010, and Rick Kraus, a fellow from 2008 to 2012, are researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NIF’s home. Berzak Hopkins is a design physicist, helping to create and conduct NIF shots. Kraus employs the facility in his studies of shock physics, planetary science and geophysics.

NIF creates, on a small scale, the conditions found inside stars, where pressures and temperatures are so great atoms fuse, generating tremendous energy. The powerful lasers housed in the stadium-sized facility also produce pressures similar to those found deep inside massive planets, helping Kraus and other researchers study how materials behave under extreme conditions.