Skip to main content

You are here

NNSA and DOE Office of Science Announce $9 Million in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasma Research Grants

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the DOE Office of Science announced today that 23 research grants totaling $9.9 million have been awarded as part of the High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas (HEDLP) program.

The grants span work from astrophysics to laser plasma simulation and from electric magnetic field mapping to innovative ideas for inertial fusion energy. DOE's Office of Science and the NNSA provided $6.5 million and $3.4 million, respectively.

"The announcement of these awards continues to demonstrate the strong and valuable partnership of NNSA and the Office of Science," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "The work funded will enhance and promote cutting edge research that supports the missions of both organizations. I want to personally congratulate the recipients of these awards."

In recent years, the significant potential for research in high energy density physics (HEDP) has been recognized in a number of high level studies. In response, the Interagency Task Force on HEDP, established by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, charted a path to coordinate high-priority HEDP research across the government. The task force divided the field into four federal research categories: high energy density astrophysics; high energy density nuclear physics; high energy density laboratory plasmas; and ultrafast, ultraintense laser science.
As member agencies of the task force, the Office of Science's Office of Fusion Energy Sciences and NNSA agreed to coordinate their activities in the research category of HEDLP as part of the task force's plan. The two organizations issued a joint solicitation for research proposals in HEDLP. A total of 128 proposals responsive to the solicitation were submitted. The evaluation process included a rigorous peer review and 23 projects were chosen for funding. A small number of larger awards were made for centers such as the Fusion Science Center at the University of Rochester and the Center for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Michigan. Proposals that were not funded this year, but were found worthy of funding, may be funded by NNSA in early fiscal year 2010.

The principal investigator, their institutions, and first-year funding amounts are listed below. The awards range from three to five years. For more information on the program, please see

Bedros Afeyan, Polymath Research ($300,000) 
Optical Mixing Techniques for Taming Laser Plasma Instabilities in High Energy Density Laboratory Plasmas 

James Bailey, Sandia National Laboratories, ($110,000) 
Laboratory Tests of Stellar Interior Opacity Models (Collaboration proposal between Sandia and Ohio State University) 

Riccardo Betti, University of Rochester, ($1,579,000)  
Fusion Science Center for Extreme States of Matter

Ron Davidson, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, ($205,000)
Advanced Plasma Source Development and Ion-Ion Plasma Studies in a 100 Kilovolt Test Stand

Todd Ditmire, University of Texas at Austin, ($300,000)
Experimental Study of the Equation-of-State in Dense, Strongly-Coupled Plasma

Paul Drake, University of Michigan, ($750,000) 
Center for Laser Experimental Astrophysics Research (CLEAR)

Juan Fernandez, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Mark Foord, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Richard Stephens, General Atomics ($1,425,000)
Ion-Fast Ignition – Establishing a Scientific Basis for Inertial Fusion Energy

Adam Frank, University of Rochester, ($580,000)
Resolving the Issue: The Dynamics of Magnetized Astrophysical Jets Through Pulsed Power HEDP Laboratory Studies

David Hammer, Cornell University, ($184,000)
Spectroscopic Determination of the Magnetic Fields in Exploding Wire and X Pinch Plasmas

Scott Hsu, Los Alamos National Laboratory; Doug Witherspoon, HyperV; Mark Gilmore, University of New Mexico; Jason Cassibry, University of Alabama, ($1,150,000)
Formation of Imploding Plasma Liners for HEDP and MIF Applications

Stein Jacobsen, Harvard University, ($290,000)
Planetary Science and Astrophysical Applications of Experimental Studies with the SNL Z Facilities

Henry Kapteyn, University of Colorado, ($233,000)  
Coherent Imaging Studies of High Density Femtosecond Laser Plasmas

Edison Liang, Rice University, ($340,000)  
Relativistic Plasma Physics Using Ultra-Intense Lasers

Roberto Mancini, University of Nevada, Reno, ($230,000)
Experiments and Modeling of Photoionized Plasmas at Z

Warren Mori, University of California, Los Angeles, ($230,000)
Continuation of the Application of Parallel PIC Simulations to Laser and Electron Transport Through Plasmas Under Conditions Relevant to ICF and HEDS

Richard Petrasso, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, ($750,000)
Studying Fields and Matter in HED Plasmas, Hohlraums, and ICF Implosions, Using Monoenergetic Proton and Alpha Radiography and Fusion-Product Spectrometry

Anil Pradhan, Ohio State University, ($132,000)
Laboratory Tests of Stellar Interior Opacity Models (Collaboration proposal between Sandia and Ohio State University) 

Roman Samulyak, State University of New York, ($72,000)
Study of Plasma Liner Driven Magnetized Target Fusion via Advanced Simulations
Yasuhiko Sentoku, University of Nevada, Reno, ($45,000) 
Enabling Numerical Modeling of Extreme-Intensity, Laser-Produced Hot Dense Plasma

John Slough, Math Sciences Northwest, ($326,000)
Foil Liner Compression of the FRC to Megagauss Fields 

Roger Smith, University of Washington, ($483,000)
Internal Field, Density, and Temperature Measurements Using Pulsed Polarimetry

Henry Strauss, HRS Fusion, ($75,000)
Hall MHD Stability and Turbulence in Magnetically-Accelerated Plasmas

Hoanh Vu, University of California, San Diego, ($170,000)
Study of Laser Plasma Instabilities Generation of Hot Electrons that Adversely Affect Fusion Target Compression
Follow NNSA News on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371