November 21, 2022
High-Energy Density Physics and Inertial Confinement at Los Alamos National Laboratory
Elizabeth Merritt (she/her), Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Abstract: High-energy-density (HED) science is the study of ionized material under extreme pressures (> 1 Mbar), which can alter the very chemical and atomic properties of matter. Many astrophysical systems are HED, from the interiors of gas giant planets to supernovae. It is only in recent history with the development of large laser and pulsed power systems that scientists are able to create and study HED materials in the lab to gain insight into phenomena in the wider universe. In this talk we will discuss the breadth of the HED program at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), with applications from the basic science of turbulence in the universe to inertial confinement fusion (ICF) efforts to create fusion energy in the lab.
Bio: Dr. Elizabeth Merritt is a staff Scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory where she specializes in experimental high-energy-density (HED) hydrodynamics and inertial-confinement fusion (ICF). Dr. Merritt received a B.A. in mathematics and physics from Mount Holyoke College, with a concentration in optoelectronics, and her Ph.D. in physics from the University of New Mexico in 2013, for work on plasma jets for magneto-inertial-fusion. Dr. Merritt is the PI on the LANL Planar HED Hydrodynamics campaigns including the NIF Multi-shock campaign, which is examining hydrodynamic instabilities growth and transition to turbulence under complex conditions similar to ICF capsules. Dr. Merritt is also the ICF Project Leader for the Double Shell Campaign, which is developing a platform for studying volume burn for ICF at the NIF. Finally, Dr. Merritt is actively involved in several APS-DPP early-career and diversity advocacy groups, and LANL educational outreach efforts.