Postdoctoral Research Associate

What You Will Do
The P-4 Thermonuclear Plasma Physics Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) performs world-leading research in high-energy-density physics (HEDP), inertial confinement fusion (ICF), relativistic laser-matter interactions and discovery plasma science. P-4 is seeking exceptional candidates for several postdoctoral positions to conduct an exciting research program in support of national-security and plasma/fusion-science programs at national experimental facilities.

The P-4 Group has an extremely diverse project portfolio. We perform radiation flow and opacity experiments to study how radiation is transported in ICF targets and through astrophysical systems. Our Double Shell effort goal is to achieve volume ignition for the study of thermonuclear burn. We have led the development of nuclear diagnostics such as gamma and neutron detector systems deployed at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) to further our understanding of thermonuclear burn. We also study the creation of bright sources of x-rays and particles using high-intensity laser/matter interactions. We apply advanced data analysis tools to interpret our experimental measurements. These research areas are advanced by conducting experiments at the NIF, the Omega laser facility, the Z pulsed power facility, and the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). Successful candidates will collaborate with our theory and computational designers as well as target fabrication experts to develop new experimental platforms and test the physics models used in these research areas. You will travel to the most advanced experimental facilities within the U.S., and will have the opportunity to conduct independent research leading to high-impact research papers, to present at the top international conferences, and to build your credentials for a successful career at LANL or elsewhere.

What You Need

Minimum Job Requirements:
  • Ability to carry out independent and collaborative research in experimental physics or a very closely related discipline, as evidenced by at least one paper as a leading author submitted to or published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • Sound academic training in plasma physics, fluid mechanics, nuclear physics, atomic physics or a related field.
  • Experience designing, fielding, and analyzing experiments.
  • Ability to communicate both technically and interpersonally both orally and in writing. Examples include but are not limited to journal presentations, technical reports, oral or poster conference presentations, public speaking, and classes taught.
Education/Experience: A Ph.D. in Physics, Engineering, or a closely related field, completed within the last five years.

Desired Qualifications:
  • Familiarity with approaches and challenges of High Energy Density Physics (HED) and Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF), or related science
  • Familiarity with plasma diagnostics, such as imaging, spectroscopy, interferometry, or nuclear measurements.
  • Experience using laser or pulsed-power driver facilities to conduct ICF, HED, or similar experiments.
  • Experience with data analysis using software tools such as IDL, MATLAB, or Python.
  • The ability to obtain a DOE Q clearance, which usually requires U.S. citizenship. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

Work Environment:

Work Location: The work location for this position is onsite and located in Los Alamos, NM. All work locations are at the discretion of management.

Note to Applicants:
  • In addition to applying online, interested candidates should send their inquiries, cover letter, CV including a list of peer-reviewed publications and invited talks, and the names and contact information of three references to Sam Langendorf (
  • 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
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.

Our generous benefits package includes:
  • PPO or High Deductible medical insurance with the same large nationwide network
  • Dental and vision insurance
  • Free basic life and disability insurance
  • Paid childbirth and parental leave
  • Award-winning 401(k) (6% matching plus 3.5% annually)
  • Learning opportunities and tuition assistance
  • Flexible schedules and time off (PTO and holidays)
  • Onsite gyms and wellness programs
  • Extensive relocation packages (outside a 50 mile radius)
Additional Details

Directive 206.2 - Employment with Triad requires a favorable decision by NNSA indicating employee is suitable under NNSA Supplemental Directive 206.2. Please note that this requirement applies only to citizens of the United States. Foreign nationals are subject to a similar requirement under DOE Order 142.3A.

*Eligibility requirements: To obtain a clearance, an individual must be at least 18 years of age; U.S. citizenship is required except in very limited circumstances. See DOE Order 472.2 for additional information.

No Clearance: 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. Although New Mexico and other states have legalized the use of marijuana, use and possession of marijuana remain illegal under federal law. A positive drug test for marijuana will result in termination of employment, even if the use was pre-offer.

Internal Applicants: Regular appointment employees who have served the required period of continuous service in their current position are eligible to apply for posted jobs throughout the Laboratory. If an employee has not served the required period of continuous service, they may only apply for Laboratory jobs with the documented approval of their Division Leader. Please refer to Policy Policy P701 for applicant eligibility requirements.

For general program information refer to the Student Programs web page.

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 regard 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 or call 1-505-665-4444 option 1.

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