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Los Alamos National Laboratory
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Delivering science and technology to protect our nation and promote world stability

Capabilities Strategy: Science Pillars

The Lab's four Science Pillars harness capabilities for solutions to threats
on national and global scales.

What are Science Pillars?

The Laboratory’s National Security mission requires a multidisciplinary approach to solve some of the nation’s toughest science and engineering challenges.

Our job is to ensure the safety, security, and reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent; reduce global threats; and address energy security and other emerging challenges. 

The broad range of activities needed to succeed in this mission require a flexible and forward-looking approach to managing our science, technology, and engineering.

That flexibility comes from a concept we call the Science Pillars.  

They are:

scientist doing research

Integrating information, science, and technology for prediction (IS&T)

scientist at work

Materials for the Future

Science pillar

Science of Signatures (SoS)

Science pillar

Nuclear and Particle Futures

The Science Pillar concept is the primary tool the Laboratory uses to plan how we will accomplish current and future missions. These Science Pillars enable us to manage our diverse activities in an agile and responsive manner and to adapt to new challenges as they arise. Each of the Pillars has discrete science goals that are fundamental to our success, and like pillars that hold up a building, they support each other and together ensure the integrity of the whole. It is this cooperative and combined strength that makes the Science Pillars an effective management tool. 

The greatest science breakthroughs come from approaching difficult problems in revolutionary ways, and at Los Alamos we draw upon physicists, materials scientists, chemists, computer scientists, biologists, earth scientists, space scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and numerous other disciplines encompassed by our core capability set to solve pressing national security science problems.

The Science Pillars also inform our investments in science and engineering infrastructure and equipment, guide recruitment and training strategies, and serve as a framework for our partnerships with other leading research institutions worldwide. Through them, Los Alamos continues to respond to changing national needs in a dynamic world.

Innovations for a secure nation

Novel rocket design flight tested

Novel rocket design flight tested

The new rocket fuel and motor design adds a higher degree of safety by separating the fuel from the oxidizer, both novel formulations that are, by themselves, not able to detonate.

» All Innovations


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Mailing Address
P.O. Box 1663
Los Alamos, NM 87545

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(505) 667-7000

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