Los Alamos National Laboratory Plasma Physics Postdoc in Los Alamos, New Mexico

What You Will Do

The P-24 Plasma Physics group in Physics Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is seeking a postdoctoral research associate in the field of plasma physics to conduct experimental research in intense radiation sources, magneto-inertial fusion (MIF), laboratory astrophysics, and basic plasma science.

The successful applicant will be expected to work on multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced small team environment to conduct research on the formation, translation, and shock heating of Field-Reversed Configuration plasmoids (FRCs), kinetic shock physics, and radiation physics. They will participate in an extensive rebuild/upgrade of the LANL MSX facility, which presents the opportunity to gain broad experience in many areas including: designing and building 100 kV pulsed power systems with nanosecond timing; fielding a variety of sophisticated and novel plasma diagnostics (e.g., x-ray and neutron spectroscopy, high-speed optical magnetic measurement, Thomson scattering, holographic interferometry, etc.); involving working with pulsed lasers, streak cameras, and other high-speed optical detectors; designing and building control and data acquisition, vacuum systems, and other experimental infrastructure. They will have the opportunity to conduct research leading to high-impact scientific papers, to present at top plasma-physics conferences, and to build their credentials for an academic, national laboratory, or entrepreneurial career as a follow-on to this position.

There may also be opportunities to collaborate with other ongoing efforts at LANL, such as HEDP experiments on the national user facilities and various other projects supporting national security applications.

  • This work is supported by the U.S. Dept. of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration.

P-24 is a world leader in high-energy-density (HED) plasma physics, inertial-confinement fusion (ICF), and MIF, and conducts an exciting program of research in support of national-security and plasma/fusion-science programs at local experimental and national user facilities, e.g., the Magnetized Shock Experiment (MSX) and the Plasma Liner Experiment (PLX) at LANL, the Omega facility at the University of Rochester, the Z facility at Sandia National Laboratories, and the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Livermore National Laboratory.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:

  • Demonstrated ability to carry out independent and collaborative research with significant hands-on research experience in laboratory plasma-physics

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate both technically and interpersonally both orally and in writing

Desired Skills:

  • Experience with building and/or operating plasma diagnostics

  • Experience with operating/maintaining high-voltage-pulsed-power systems and electronic circuits

  • Experience with experimental infrastructure such as data-acquisition and control systems, vacuum systems, mechanical construction and operation of laboratory hardware

  • Experience with data analysis using software tools such as Python, gnuplot, MATLAB, IDL etc.

  • Familiarity with approaches and challenges of controlled fusion.

  • While not required, candidates capable of obtaining a DOE Q clearance is a plus (which typically requires US citizenship).

Education: A Ph.D. in experimental physics or closely related discipline, earned within the last five years.

Notes to Applicants:

  • In addition to applying online, interested candidates should send their inquiries, cover letter, CV including list of peer-reviewed publications and invited talks, and the names and contact information of three references to Thomas Weber (tweber@lanl.gov).

  • The cover letter should address the minimum job requirements and desired skills of this position, point by point, with specific examples from your academic and research experience.

  • To receive full consideration, please ensure that your application package provides all of the information requested above.

  • Evaluation of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Additional Details:

Position does not require a security clearance. Selected candidates will be subject to drug testing and other pre-employment background checks.

New-Employment Drug Test: The Laboratory requires successful applicants to complete a new-employment drug test and maintains a substance abuse policy that includes random drug testing.

Candidates may be considered for a Director's Postdoc Fellowship and outstanding candidates may be considered for the prestigious Richard P. Feynman, Darleane Christian Hoffman, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or Frederick Reines Distinguished Postdoc Fellowships.

For general information go to Postdoc Program.

Equal Opportunity:

Los Alamos National Laboratory is an equal opportunity employer and supports a diverse and inclusive workforce. All employment practices are based on qualification and merit, without regards to race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or preference, marital status or spousal affiliation, physical or mental disability, medical conditions, pregnancy, status as a protected veteran, genetic information, or citizenship within the limits imposed by federal laws and regulations. The Laboratory is also committed to making our workplace accessible to individuals with disabilities and will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request, for individuals to participate in the application and hiring process. To request such an accommodation, please send an email to applyhelp@lanl.gov or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

Where You Will Work_

Located in northern New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is a multidisciplinary research institution engaged in strategic science on behalf of national security. LANL enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns.

Location: Los Alamos, NM, US

Organization Name: P-24/Plasma Physics

Job Title: Plasma Physics Postdoc

Appointment Type: Postdoc

Req ID: IRC67163