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Livermore researchers have studied and synthesized high explosives for decades because they are an integral element of every nuclear weapon. Today their work encompasses a wide range of basic research and programmatic activities. Researchers are combining breakthrough computer simulation codes, state-of-the-art experimental diagnostics, and a culture in which theoretical, synthesis, and experimental chemists and physicists work alongside each other. At the same time, they are working more closely with their partners in the energetic-materials community.
Lawrence Livermore chemists are synthesizing new compounds that yield more energy, are safer to store and handle, and are less expensive and more environmentally friendly to produce. They also are designing new paths to synthesizing existing energetic molecules that are cheaper and easier on the environment. In a parallel effort, experiments are being done to better understand the fundamental physics and chemistry of energetic materials, particularly with regard to their stability, sensitivity, and performance. Livermore chemists are also working to improve efficiencies in the production of these materials.
The Center for Healthcare Technologies at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has undertaken a stroke initiative whose purpose is to provide the medical community with the tools that will allow doctors to diagnose and treat stroke as aggressively as they do heart attack. A multidisciplinary team of stroke-initiative researchers is collaborating with academic medical centers and private companies to move these tools from the research and development stage through clinical trials, regulatory approval, and manufacture so that they can benefit many thousands of people who have strokes each year. Tools the team has developed fall into four categories: microsensors for brain and clot characterization, a catheter-based system using laser energy to break up clots in the blood vessels of the brain, laser-tissue interaction models in support of laser "clot busting," and microtools for treating the aneurysms that cause hemorrhagic stroke.
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