Frank Graziani, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
High energy density physics (HEDP) is the study of matter at extreme conditions where energy densities are in excess of 10^12 ergs/cc or equivalently, pressures are in excess of 1 Mbar. HEDP spans a wide range of phenomena, from the deep interiors of the giant planets to the hot plasmas typical of stellar interiors. Matter in the HEDP regime can involve some combination of the following phenomena, collective effects, electron degeneracy, radiation, atomic kinetics, strong particle-particle correlations, non-equilibrium and hybrid quantum-classical behavior. In this overview, I will explain why HEDP is an intellectually challenging and exciting research area that impacts basic science, energy, and national security. I discuss the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) which uses the concept of inertial confinement fusion (ICF) to create conditions where pressures far exceed 1 Mbar. The remainder of the talk is devoted to an important component of executing experiments at NIF or any other HEDP facility-simulation. I discuss the spectrum of computational approaches HEDP scientists use to model their experiments. I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various computational approaches and briefly touch on two recent advances that may hold promise to enhancing the current weaknesses. The talk ends with a discussion of the High Energy Density Sciences Center, which is an outreach organization at LLNL that is building a HEDP community through interactions of LLNL scientists with academic collaborators.
Flyer File: graziani_frank_ccb_flyer.pdf