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Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Capabilities: Science Pillars

The Lab’s four Science Pillars harness our scientific capabilities for national security solutions.

What are the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Science Pillars?

The Laboratory has established the Science Pillars under four main themes to bring together the Laboratory's diverse array of scientific capabilities and expertise:

  • Information, Science, and Technology Pillar
  • Materials for the Future Pillar
  • Nuclear and Particle Futures Pillar
  • Science of Signatures Pillar

What is the purpose of the Science Pillars?

The Science Pillar concept is the primary tool the Laboratory uses to manage our multidisciplinary scientific capabilities and activities.

Each Science Pillar allows the Laboratory to rapidly and effectively draw on the necessary scientific capabilities at Los Alamos National Laboratory, so we can address national security challenges as they arise and offer viable solutions.

Benefits of the Los Alamos Science Pillars

  • Each of the four Science Pillars has an overarching theme and discrete science goals, encompassing distinct capabilities found across the Laboratory.
  • Like pillars holding up a building, the Science Pillars support each other and together ensure the integrity of accomplishing our current and future missions.
  • As a management tool, the Pillars allow us to apply our broad range of science, technology, and engineering activities to national security challenges with a flexible, agile, and forward-looking approach.
  • The Pillars guide and inform the Laboratory's strategic investments in science, facilities, and recruitment.
  • The Pillars serve as a framework for our partnerships with other leading research institutions worldwide.

Learn more about the Science Pillars

Information, Science, and Technology for Prediction (IS&T)

We leverage advances in theory, algorithms, and the exponential growth of high-performance computing to accelerate the integrative and predictive capability of the scientific method.

We develop IST capabilities in these areas:

  • Computational co-design
  • Data science at scale
  • Complex networks

Materials for the Future

In materials science, we optimize materials for national security applications by predicting and controlling their performance and functionality through discovery science and engineering.

The Materials Pillar allows us to predict and create new materials functionality in previously inaccessible extremes. The Materials Pillar strategy in controlled functionality focuses on:

  • Defects and interfaces
  • Extreme environments
  • Emergent phenomena

Science of Signatures (SoS)

We apply science and technology to intransigent problems of system identification and characterization in areas of global security, nuclear defense, energy, and health.

The SoS Pillar revolutionizes measurements for threat-specific signatures; discovering signatures that identify and characterize threats; and deploying advanced technology.

Nuclear and Particle Futures

We integrate nuclear experiments, theory, and simulation to understand and engineer complex nuclear phenomena.

The NPF Pillar focuses on fundamental advances in:

  • Nuclear and particle science, astrophysics, and cosmology
  • Applied nuclear science and engineering
  • High energy density plasmas and fluids
  • Accelerators and electrodynamics

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