Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

Proton Radiography

Revolutionizing dynamic materials science, this capability provides more vivid details for the study of shock physics, materials damage, and high explosives science.


Pioneering proton radiography

Invented at Los Alamos National Laboratory, proton radiography employs a high-energy proton beam to image the properties and behavior of materials driven by high explosives.

The penetrating power of high-energy protons, like that of x-rays, makes them an excellent probe of a wide range of materials under extreme pressures, strains, and strain rates.

The incredible efficacy and versatility of proton radiography stems from the ability to produce multiple proton pulses in an accelerator coupled with multiple optical viewing systems that can result in 42-frame movies.

The invention of imaging proton radiography is the direct result of the synergy between the Laboratory’s defense mission and basic science research scientists and supports the Laboratory’s national security science mission as well as provides for fundamental science discoveries.

A designated national user program provides experimenters the opportunity to work at the 800-MeV Los Alamos Proton Radiography Facility at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center. The facility can handle both unclassified and classified experiments. There is a yearly call for proposals for experiments.

More than 500 experiments have been performed at the Proton Radiography Facility in support of the Weapons program, Global Security, and other customers.