While most people are familiar with many of the military aspects of national security, the scientific enterprise in support of national security is less well known. The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy that oversees the nation’s nuclear security science, from nuclear non- and counter-proliferation technologies to nuclear emergency response (like the Fukushima disaster in Japan) to the science of maintaining the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile. The NNSA supports a scientific enterprise of more than 50,000 scientists, technicians, and engineers, and, in this presentation, the speaker will introduce some of the latest scientific developments that are underway in support of U.S. nuclear security, including current mathematical research associated with the chemistry and physics of dynamic material studies, which involves explosively-driven experimentation in material science. In addition to some actual mathematical case studies at the cutting edge of nuclear security science, the speaker will discuss some of the national policies that drive the science as well as how new graduates in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics can get involved in this research through internships and support for graduate studies.
This work was authored by National Security Technologies, LLC, under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25946 with the U.S. Department of Energy and supported by the Site-Directed Research and Development Program.