Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory

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

Science Videos

Los Alamos maintains broad science, technology, and engineering capabilities across multiple disciplines, leveraged to meet the Lab’s diverse national security missions. These videos showcase some of the innovative science supporting our mission.

Innovative Science, Technology & Engineering Supporting Mission


The open-source software models complex environmental systems across multiple scales. The simulation includes the most complete suite of surface/subsurface processes, allowing users to select physical processes and their coupling interactions without rewriting software.

Hydrogen Contamination Detector

Fuel cells power environmentally clean vehicles, fork lifts, drones, and provide auxiliary power. High-purity hydrogen is essential to avoid poisoning fuel cells. Current analysis methods are costly and cannot detect impurities in real-time. The Hydrogen Contamination Detector measures the two highest impact Department of Energy-identified impurities with a simple, low-cost unit that provides 24/7, point-of-service analysis.

Legion: A data-centric programming system

This open-source, high-performance supercomputing software boosts application performance and speed of computing by automating task scheduling and data movement. Legion was designed from the ground up to enable complex applications to take full advantage of modern exascale systems. The technology is a collaboration between Los Alamos and Stanford University, NVIDIA, Sandia National Laboratories, University of California-Davis, and Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory.

NoLoad CSP: Breaking Through Efficiency Barriers with Computational Storage

NoLoad CSP is an integrated computational storage processor that accelerates critical storage system tasks such as compression, erasure coding, and analytics. By embedding functions within the storage fabric, systems designers are able to dramatically increase performance, efficiency, and flexibility while lowering costs and using less CPU power.

Oleo-Furan Surfactants Made from Renewable Biomass

Laundry detergents can be harmful to the environment. OFS is the first surfactant to offer superior cleaning performance in cold and hard water, without the need for additives. OFS is made from renewable biomass in a “clean chemistry” process that doesn’t tax the environment or compete with human food supplies.


OrganiCam is the first camera for noncontact, nondestructive biodetection in remote environments and space. The compact laser-induced fluorescence imaging camera with Raman spectrometer could identify organic molecules and biosignatures in Martian caves, on icy moons, and on asteroid surfaces. OrganiCam’s robust design for extreme elity, environments, portable operation, and low power requirement build on the Lab’s 50+ years designing robotic instruments for space applications.


The software is the first fast-running, laptop-capable, 3D fire-atmosphere feedback model for complex wildfire and prescribed fire scenarios. It simulates critical influences of 3D vegetation structure, variable winds, interaction between multiple fires, and complex topography at meter-scale spatial resolutions. QUIC-Fire transforms fire and fuel managers’ ability to assess risk, optimize fuel treatments, and plan prescribed burns to prevent catastrophic wildfires.

Smart Microbial Cell Technology

Smart Microbial Cell Technology is an ultra-high-throughput screening platform to engineer custom biocatalysts that enhance the rate of chemical reactions critical in pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, and environmental cleanup. It selects rare mutations needed for biocatalyst optimization orders of magnitude faster than current screening methods.

Spectroscopic Detection of Nerve Agents (SEDONA)

Spectroscopic Detection of Nerve Agents (SEDONA) is the only portable screener to accurately detect chemical nerve agents in unopened bottles, providing results in seconds. SEDONA dramatically reduces the likelihood of a successful nerve agent attack at airports, government buildings, embassies, sporting events, concerts, and political rallies.


Quantum Security for the Electric Grid

Los Alamos and Oak Ridge National Laboratories partnered with the Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, a Tennessee utility and telecommunications company. Their field trials demonstrated the effectiveness of securing electric grid communications using quantum information.


ALFa LDS: Autonomous, Low-cost, Fast Leak Detection System

ALFa LDS (Autonomous, Low-Cost, Fast Leak Detection System) is a robust system for the detection of natural gas leaks. Our first-of-a-kind platform operates 24/7/365 to locate natural gas leaks early, enabling fast repair. The detector distinguishes natural gas leaks from biogenic sources of methane.

Atomic Armor

Atomic Armor

Atomic Armor is the first and only "tunable" shielding for technological devices. This one-atom-thick coating is customizable so users can control the needed characteristics to extend a device's lifetime and maximize its functionality. It is the thinnest and most durable, flexible and customizable shielding ever made.


BOM: Next Generation of High-Performance explosives

Bis(1,2,4-oxadiazole)bis(methylene) dinitrate, or BOM, is a next-generation explosive. BOM is a higher-performing, less-toxic replacement for TNT. It is 50% more explosive and far less toxic to make and use. BOM is the “green” alternative to TNT because it reduces hazards to human health and the environment.


FEARCE: Fast, Easy, Accurate, and Robust Continuum Engineering

FEARCE is a new software system that predicts complex turbulent flows in combustion engines. Such predictions help designers improve engine performance, enhance fuel efficiency, and reduce pollutant emissions. When it comes to improving engine performance, it doesn’t get any more FEARCE.


RetroRX: Rapid, Easy Tools for Responding to Outbreaks and Re-emergence Events

The complementary tools in RETRO Rx—AIDO and RED Alert—fill a need in the infectious disease surveillance community by creating a new class of analytics in the space between traditional epidemiological models and unanalyzed spreadsheets of data. RETRO Rx compiles data and presents analysis in a clear, concise visual format to support disease mitigation and prevention planning. The tools can be used by analysts, scientists, practitioners, decision makers, and the public at no cost via the Internet.

Severe Contingency Solver for Electric Power Transmission Analysis

Severe Contingency Solver for Electric Power Transmission Analysis

The Severe Contingency Solver is a new, free, open-source software that reliably predicts how damage from hurricanes, ice storms, earthquakes, and other extreme events will restrict power delivery from utility grids. It is the only software available—commercially or open-source—that reliably supports analysis of extreme events that cause widespread damage.



SimCCS2.0 is an open-source software package that industry, researchers, and government can use to design CO2 capture and storage infrastructure that optimally links CO2 sources (such as power plants) with CO2 sinks (such as saline aquifers and depleted oil fields) to reduce industry carbon footprints and maximize revenues.



SPLASH is a fully customizable, miniature liquid handling platform technology that can execute sequential operations involved in complex laboratory processes. Its electricity-free, pocket-sized variants bring automated sample preparation and processing to the point of need and resource-limited settings.

Turbulence In Complex Natural & Engineered Systems

Turbulence In Complex Natural & Engineered Systems

Los Alamos National Laboratory applies innovative science, and engineering from multiple disciplines to help solve the nation's toughest technical challenges. Turbulence is one of those complex challenges that impacts many aspects of the environment and energy applications. This video gives an overview of how Los Alamos National Laboratory leverages its fundamental physics research to better understand the important role turbulence plays in complex natural and engineered systems, including oceans, weather and wildfire, wind turbines, and engine efficiency.


Acoustic Collimated Beam (ACCObeam)

A team of Los Alamos scientists has created the Acoustic Collimated Beam (ACCObeam), a novel high-power, low-frequency, collimated sound beam that penetrates deeply and in high resolution for applications such as borehole imaging, explosives threat evaluation, underwater communication, and biomedical imaging.

Lighthouse Radiation Detectors

Lighthouse Directional Radiation Detectors »

The Lighthouse Directional Radiation Detectors developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory transform traditional omnidirectional detectors into directional detectors that can precisely determine the location, amount, and movement of a radioactive source, even in the presence of background radiation.

Long-range Wireless Sensor Network

Long-Range Wireless Sensor Network »

Using decades of experience developing satellite components for the harsh space environment, Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers invented the Long-range Wireless Sensor Network (LRWSN), a low-power sensor network that is self-forming and self-healing and can affordably collect, process, and transmit data over long distances in rugged and remote outdoor environments.

Turbulence in Extreme Environments

Turbulence & Mix in Extreme Environments »

Los Alamos National Laboratory studies turbulence and mix in extreme environments to help fulfill its national security mission to ensure the safety, reliability, and performance of the US nuclear weapons stockpile. Experimental and computer-simulation projects at Los Alamos enhance our understanding and ability to predict turbulence and mixing in complex flows, at all scales, from the very small to the astronomical. This video describes some of the Los Alamos national security research conducted into turbulence and mix in extreme environments..

Universal Bacteria Sensor

Universal Bacteria Sensor »

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have looked to the human immune system to develop the Universal Bacterial Sensor (UBS)—a unique technology that mimics biological recognition of bacterial pathogens, requiring only a small volume of sample to detect all pathogens quickly, simply, and efficiently without prior knowledge of what they might be.

Video-Based Dynamic Measurement & Analysis (ViDeoMAgic)

Video-Based Dynamic Measurement & Analysis (ViDeoMAgic) »

Engineers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed ViDeoMAgic (Video-based Dynamic Measurement & Analysis), a revolutionary new technology that uses video of a vibrating structure and extracts high-spatial-resolution structural vibration and dynamics information to measure the dynamic response and analyze the health of civil, mechanical, and aerospace structures.


Discrete Fracture Network Modeling Suite (dfnWorks) »

Discrete Fracture Network Modeling Suite (dfnWorks) is a computational suite that simulates and predicts the flow and transport of fluids through underground fractured rock. It covers length scales that range from millimeters to kilometers, can run on computers as small as a laptop and as large as a supercomputer and requires minimal effort to create representative models. Applications for dfnWorks include helping catch rogue nations performing underground nuclear tests and maximizing the extraction of natural gas, oil and geothermal wells while minimizing environmental impacts.


Space Hazards Induced near Earth by Large, Dynamic Storms (SHIELDS) »

Space Hazards Induced near Earth by Large, Dynamic Storms (SHIELDS) protects communication, navigation, and scientific satellites orbiting Earth’s magnetosphere by predicting hazards resulting from solar storms that cause space weather. Space weather could damage onboard electronics in satellites and thus interrupt radio and television reception, disrupt the operation of cellphones and GPS, shut down the Internet and endanger military and civilian operations. Researchers developed the software platform to understand, model, and predict this weather about an hour before it hits satellites, enabling instruments to be placed in a safe mode.

Pulmo video

Tiny Device Mimics Human Lung Function »

Pulmonary Lung Model (PuLMo) is a miniature, tissue-engineered lung developed to revolutionize the screening of new drugs or toxic agents. PuLMo has the potential to enable screening of new drugs more effectively by improving the reliability of pre-clinical testing and saving time, money and lives. PuLMo also could be used as a platform to study the flow dynamics of particles inside a lung for applications in drug delivery and particle/pathogen deposition studies.