New capability supports U.S. energy, security needs

Dynamic Compression Sector at Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source.
Dignitaries formally dedicate the Dynamic Compression Sector at Argonne National Laboratory, Advanced Photon Source.

PULLMAN, Wash. – A first-of-its-kind-worldwide research capability will help unravel the mysteries of material behavior at extreme conditions and short time scales in support of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s vital national security missions.

NNSA (, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory ( and Washington State University ( will dedicate the Dynamic Compression Sector ( (DCS) in a ceremony hosted by WSU this week. DCS is a new installation located at Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source ( (APS), a DOE Office of Science ( user facility near Chicago.

DCS allows researchers, for the first time, to make movies of the behavior of materials subjected to extreme conditions through tunable, high-energy X-ray pulses for viewing condensed matter changes at the microscopic level during a shock compression event.

DCS will help address challenges related to the nation’s energy and national security needs, understand the structure of planetary interiors and make new, lightweight materials for industrial, aerospace and automotive applications. DCS is funded by NNSA and is managed as a partnership between WSU and APS.

“DCS is an exciting and visionary undertaking that adds a national security capability to an existing DOE laboratory,” said Phil Calbos (, acting deputy administrator for NNSA’s defense programs. “Work at DCS will lead to discovery-class science and address important materials issues for the Stockpile Stewardship Program (”

“DCS supports a broad range of multidisciplinary research and will allow scientists to observe material behaviors and the underlying microscopic mechanisms using techniques that have not been possible before,” said Yogendra Gupta (, director of the WSU Institute for Shock Physics (

“All of us at Argonne ( and the APS are delighted to formally welcome DCS to our community,” said Stephen Streiffer (, director of the APS. “Users of DCS are already publishing exciting results, and we’re eager to see what the future holds for this valuable national scientific resource.”

The fundamental dynamic compression science enabled by DCS will support NNSA’s mission to ensure the U.S. nuclear stockpile is safe, secure and effective, with the added benefit of a relatively rapid turnaround time per experiment. DCS’ experimental capabilities will also support U.S. Department of Defense national security research.


Yogendra Gupta, WSU Institute of Shock Physics, 509-335-7217,