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Physics Colloquium: Tammy Ma (LLNL)

September 28, 2018 - 6:45pm

X‐Ray Analysis Group Lead for Inertial Confinement Fusion 

Abstract: The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is the  world's largest and most energetic laser system. The 1.8 MJ of energy in NIF's 192 laser beams is designed to  create very extreme states of matter ‐ temperatures more than 100 million Kand pressures more than 200  billion atmospheres ‐conditions emulating those found in the interiors of stars and planets. One of the main NIF  campaigns is focused on demonstrating thermonuclear burn in the laboratory by laser inertial fusion. Rapid  progress is being made, with recent experiments demonstrating fuel gains ‐2 (two times more fusion energy  generated than delivered to the fuel) and significant alpha heating. Work continues toward the goal of full  ignition, and achieving this will be a major step towards demonstrating the feasibility of laser‐based fusion as a  source of abundant, carbon‐free energy. We will provide an update on the progress and challenges toward  controlled laboratory nuclear fusion.


Bio: Dr. Tammy Ma is an experimental plasma physicist in inertial confinement 
fusion (ICF) and high energy density physics at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) 
at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), in Livermore, California. 
She graduated from Caltech in 2005 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, then 
received her M.S. in 2008 and Ph.D. in 2010 both from the University of 
California, San Diego. Tammy subsequently completed a postdoc at LLNL before 
transitioning to a staff scientist in 2012, where she now leads a number of the 
fusion experiments at the NIF and currently heads the X‐Ray Analysis Group for 
the ICF program. She has authored or co‐authored over 140 refereed journal 
publications and is strongly committed to education and scientific outreach. 
Tammy was recently awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Science 
and Engineering (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States 
government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their 
independent research careers; as well as the 2016 Stix Award for Outstanding 
Early Career Contributions to Plasma Research from the DPP for her work in 
quantifying hydrodynamic instability mix in ICF implosions and for contributions 
to experiments demonstration fusion fuel gains exceeding unity; and is a 2018 
recipient of the Department of Energy Early Career Award. 


COB2 170

Contact Information

Sai Ghosh