Nuclear, Chemical, and Isotopic Science and Technology

Nuclear science and technology has been a defining strength of Livermore since its inception. Nuclear S&T is essential for sustaining an aging nuclear weapons stockpile and integral to missions in nuclear event forensic analysis, threat reduction, and safeguards. These programs also serve to further neutrino science, the search for dark matter, cosmochemistry, and properties of the heaviest elements. A partnership between Livermore and Russian scientists has discovered six heavy elements (113 to 118). Livermorium (atomic symbol Lv), element 116, was chosen to honor Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the city of Livermore, California.

Livermore is also an international leader in chemical and isotopic analysis, with basic science and national security programs supported by the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS) and the Forensic Science Center (FSC). CAMS has hosted over 1,000 faculty and student visitors, resulting in over 300 Ph.D. and master’s degrees over the past 26 years.

The FSC is one of only two U.S. laboratories to be internationally certified for identifying chemical warfare agents. The center also develops new tools for intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security, and healthcare. Its researchers are developing innovative new forensic techniques, including a revolutionary technique to use hair instead of DNA to identify a person.

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