Stewardship Science Academic Alliances (SSAA) Program Research Areas
Properties of Materials under Extreme Conditions and Hydrodynamics
During open solicitations research proposals are solicited for grants and Centers of Excellence in the area of fundamental properties and response of materials under extreme conditions (condensed matter physics and materials science, hydrodynamics and fluid dynamics). Extreme conditions include material response when subjected to one or more of the following: high-pressure (> 100 kbar), high-temperature (near melt), or high-strain-rate (>104 per second). The specific sub-areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Investigations of the static and dynamic (e.g., shock-loaded or loading by isentropic compression) properties of materials under conditions of high-pressure, high-temperature, high-strain and/or high-strain-rate. Materials properties of interest include thermodynamic properties (equation-of-state, high-pressure phase diagram, pressure-induced phase transformation, etc.), mechanical constitutive properties (plasticity and strength, failure, fracture, etc.), material anisotropy and those that result in or impact material dependence on loading profile and hysteresis.
- Hydrodynamic experiments in low energy density physics, high-temperature-pressure and rate regimes where constitutive properties (strength, damage, failure, etc.) may dominate.
- Development of novel advanced diagnostics, including fast cameras, and measurement techniques leading to the observation of physical phenomena at appropriate length and time scales with particular emphasis on in situ real-time techniques.
- Investigation of the physics of turbulence and interfaces.
Low-Energy Nuclear Science
During open solicitations, research proposals are solicited for grants and Centers of Excellence in the area of low-energy nuclear science. The specific sub-areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Investigations leading to greater accuracy in the knowledge of low energy cross sections of stable and unstable nuclei and corresponding reaction rates for neutron, gamma, and ion-induced reactions.
- Development of advanced simulations and measurement techniques leading to improved radiation and particle detection methods, in terms of energy, temporal and spatial resolution.
- Physics of the fission process, including division of mass and charge as a function of excitation, production of energy, and the reaction properties of prompt fission products.
- Development of advanced diagnostic techniques relevant to proton, X-ray or other radiographic techniques suitable for the SSP.
- Development of nuclear physics experimental diagnostic techniques for laser or pulsed power implosion systems.
During open solicitations, research proposals are solicited for grants and Centers of Excellence in the area of radiochemistry with an emphasis on studies of the heavier elements and the actinides. The specific sub-areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Production procedures and techniques to manufacture pure targets of short-lived nuclei such as Americium.
- Purification processes to isolate trace amounts of specific nuclei from bulk irradiated materials.
- Development of new target preparation procedures for small quantities of short-lived nuclei, including techniques such as a Polymer Assisted Deposition.
- Improved and advanced analytical techniques with applications to basic science including remote handling systems and wet chemistry operations.
- Measurement stations at existing beam facilities to support study of the structure and reactions involving unstable nuclei.
- Super-heavy element research.
- Development and implementation of experimental techniques and diagnostics for advancing nuclear science.
High Energy Density Plasmas
During open solicitations, research proposals for Centers of Excellence are solicited in the area of high energy density physics (HEDP) and fluid dynamics, with particular emphasis on experimental investigations based on the utilization of lasers and/or pulsed-power technology. In the field of HEDP, only proposals for Cooperative Agreements (Centers of Excellence) will be accepted. Grant proposals for the field of HEDP should respond to the Joint Program call mentioned above. High energy density laboratory plasmas are defined as matter reaching approximately 100 billion Joules per cubic meter (the energy density of a hydrogen molecule) corresponding to a pressure of approximately 1 Mbar. Free electrons play a significant role in the dynamics in HEDP and the underlying assumptions and methods of traditional ideal-plasma theory and standard condensed matter theory do not apply. The specific sub-areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Properties of matter in high energy density (HED) regimes, e.g. as those produced by lasers and/or pulsed power. This includes investigations in related areas of plasma physics, inertial fusion, atomic physics, radiation generation and the interaction of radiation with matter.
- Astrophysical phenomena.
- Diagnostics and measurement techniques for the observation of physical phenomena under HED conditions.
- Development of numerical and computational tools that assist in enhancing experimental HED science.
- Development of experimental diagnostic techniques for laser or pulsed power implosion systems.
Banner photo: The Texas Petawatt laser bay at the University of Texas, Center for High Intensity Laser Science (Stockpile Stewardship Academic Alliance Program)