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Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

Awards, Achievements

The Lab's mission is to develop and apply science and technology to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; reduce global threats; and solve other emerging national security and energy challenges.


  • Jenna L. Montoya
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Discoveries, developments, advancements, and inventions pouring from Los Alamos make America—and the world—a better and safer place.
Roadrunner supercomputer

Cray Inc. has delivered a new supercomputing platform to support all three NNSA national laboratories: Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore. Named Cielo, this petascale (more than one quadrillion floating point operations per second) supercomputer will help NNSA ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nuclear stockpile while maintaining the moratorium on testing. The computer has 96 cabinets, with nearly 9,000 compute nodes, and approximately 300 terabytes of memory.

Discoveries, developments, advancements, and inventions pouring from Los Alamos make America—and the world—a better and safer place

It was here, for instance, that the Human Genome Project—and other crucial efforts that many people don’t associate with Los Alamos National Laboratory—began.

Many measures of progress distinguish the people of Los Alamos and their work: awards, prizes, patents, and publication in leading journals of both original material and citations.

The science and technology that attracts collaborators, earns accolades, and commands attention in prestigious journals varies tremendously

For example:

  • Los Alamos is home to the world’s most powerful x-ray machine, a tool essential to maintain the nation’s stockpile of nuclear weapons without returning to underground testing.
  • In March 2012, a Los Alamos team broke its own world record for strongest nondestructive magnet, surging past the elusive 100-tesla mark and clearing the way for a host of new endeavors, including a new type of superconductor.
  • A supercomputer at Los Alamos was the world’s first to break the petaflop barrier (a million billion operations per second), dramatically increasing the speed and fidelity of simulations to model everything from nuclear weapons implosions and the origin of our universe to mapping the evolutionary tree of the AIDS virus and how nanowires work.

Such extremes are dramatic in themselves.

But they’re only a means to an end: performing breakthrough experiments that advance the state of science—as well as state of the art—all to bolster national security.

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