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Physics Careers Seminar: "Physics Opportunities at Los Alamos National Lab: Computational, Experimental, and Theoretical"

Event Type
Department of Physics
204 Loomis (Interaction Room)
Nov 9, 2017   11:00 am  
Dr. James Hill, R&D Scientist, X Computational Physics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Lance Cooper

Abstract: Since its founding in 1943 as the Manhattan Project’s Site Y, the Los Alamos National Laboratory has been a world leader in physics, engineering, computing, materials science, and more.  In an uncertain world, LANL remains a key contributor to national and global security with an ongoing need for world-class scientists.  Our science continues to underpin the Laboratory's past and its future. A rich variety of research programs directly and indirectly support the Laboratory's basic mission: maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the nation's nuclear deterrent.  With a national security focus, the Laboratory also works on nuclear nonproliferation and border security, energy and infrastructure security, and countermeasures to nuclear and biological terrorist threats. As a foundation, the Laboratory conducts fundamental science in  

  • high-energy and applied physics and theory
  • high-performance computing
  • dynamic and energetic materials science
  • superconductivity
  • quantum information
  • advanced materials
  • bioinformatics
  • theoretical and computational biology
  • chemistry
  • earth and environmental science
  • alternative energy systems
  • engineering sciences and application tomorrow

Bio: I attended UIUC from 1991-1999, receiving MS and PhD degrees in Nuclear Engineering.  I joined LANL as a post-Master’s student in 1996 and as a staff member in 1999.  About half my time has been spent in the primary design and assessment community with an emphasis on nuclear safety in abnormal environments.  With that hat on, for three years I served as the primary physics point of contact for the W78 / Minuteman III ICBM.  The other half of my career has been in software development for nuclear weapons simulation with a particular focus on neutron transport, both multigroup discrete ordinates and continuous-energy Monte Carlo.  In recent years I have also served as an analyst for the Foreign Nuclear Weapons Intelligence Initiative.  FNWII is a government program that leverages the nuclear weapons expertise of the national laboratories to evaluate intelligence gathered concerning FNW programs.

Organization: X Computational Physics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory.  X Computational Physics (XCP) Division develops multiphysics simulation codes to support national nuclear security applications--particularly the assessment of the safety, security, and effectiveness of the stockpile and emerging threats. The division's focus is in computational physics, developing validated codes, models, and algorithms through research in the division and integration of the broader Laboratory's work in theory, modeling, and experiments.

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