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Los Alamos Neutron Science Center is the major experimental science facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, underpinning the Laboratory as a world-class scientific institution.


  • LANSCE User Office
  • (505) 667-6797
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Who we are

LANSCE is a National User Facility with one of the nation’s most powerful linear accelerators (LINAC). We are unique because of the intensity and energy spectrum of the neutrons our LINAC produces. Our intense pulsed protons are used for proton radiography and to produce the wide energy spectrum of spallation neutrons needed to interrogate various materials—materials that improve safety and security, advance nuclear technology, and have commercial applications.

To meet DOE and NNSA missions, our LINAC supports five state-of-the-art scientific centers that operate simultaneously:

What we do

We support three of the NNSA’s core scientific capabilities:

  1. hydrodynamics
  2. weapons nuclear science
  3. materials science

Our research is critical to understanding nuclear weapons performance, reliability, and safety. We excel at research that helps validate predictive models of weapons performance. Our research also helps test new materials and new material models for stockpile stewardship.

Hydrodynamics with Proton Radiography (pRad)

pRad is unique to LANSCE. pRad provides the capability to probe the dynamic response of materials to shocks, the detonation characteristics of high explosives under a range of environmental conditions, and to make high-speed movies of their dynamic systems.

Weapons Neutron Research

Our nuclear measurements are key to the success of the National Boost Initiative and for doing accurate nuclear forensics. Precision measurements of fission cross-sections and fission neutronspectra in actinides are crucial for predicting and determining yield, and are required to accurately quantify the margins and uncertainties in weapons performance. We provide the NNSA the most efficient, cost-effective, and timely capabilities to meet mission requirements.

Materials Science for National Security

Our capabilities are specifically tailored to the materials and security requirements of stockpile stewardship and national security research. We are the only facility equipped to carry out classified materials research on stockpile materials and components using a LINAC.

Energy Security

The quest for energy security requires R&D on a new class of nuclear reactors, fuels, and materials. Our research is important to the DOE’s Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), focusing on developing a new class of safer, cleaner, and more proliferationresistant fuels—fuels the nation needs to provide energy security and independence, to protect the environment, and to impede nuclear terrorism.