Opportunities for Mesoscale Science: A MaRIE Perspective

John Sarrao, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Mesoscale science embraces the regime where atomic granularity and quantization of energy yield to continuous matter and energy, collective behavior reaches its full potential, defects, fluctuations and statistical variation emerge, interacting degrees of freedom create new phenomena, and homogeneous behavior gives way to heterogeneous structure and dynamics.1 Mesoscale science builds on the foundation of nanoscale knowledge and tools that the community has developed over the last decade and continues to develop.  Mesoscale phenomena offer a new scientific opportunity: designing architectures and interactions among nanoscale units to create new macroscopic behavior and functionality.  

MaRIE, for Matter-Radiation Interactions in Extremes, is Los Alamos National Laboratory’s facility concept for addressing decadal challenges in materials, especially in extreme environments, through a focus on predicting and controlling materials microstructure at the mesoscale. MaRIE will be an international user facility and will enable unprecedented in-situ, transient measurements of “real” mesoscale materials in relevant extremes, especially dynamic loading and irradiation extremes. Concurrent advances in multi-scale modeling and computational resources hold great promise for rapid progress toward these goals.

In this presentation we will discuss both the science questions that motivate the mesoscale opportunity and how a particular facility, MaRIE, can address a subset of these challenges. Importantly, theoretical and computational advances that enable effective data utilization are of comparable significance and challenge as the acquisition of said data. Our recent experience in attempting to pursue this vision of prediction and control at the mesoscale will form a central element of the presentation.

1A more complete discussion of mesoscale science can be found in the BESAC report, From Quanta to the Continuum: Opportunities for Mesoscale Science.


Abstract Author(s): John L. Sarrao