Stephen B Libby

Group Leader, Theory & Modeling
Physics Division
Phone: +19254229785


  • Ph.D., Physics, Princeton University, 1977
  • B.A., Harvard University, 1972

Personal Background

Stephen B. Libby is the Theory and Modeling Group Leader in the Physics Division at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. His current research is devoted to novel quantum coherent technologies and high energy density physics. The work on quantum devices involves the development of high precision atom interferometer gravity and gyroscopic sensors for security and navigation applications in collaboration with AOSense, work with the NIST ion storage quantum information group on improved ion trap gate physics, and ‘home grown’ LLNL quantum computing. In high-energy-density physics, he co-developed accurate, highly accelerated algorithms for non-equilibrium radiation transfer. He received his B.A. from Harvard University in 1972, and his Ph.D. in physics from Princeton University in 1977 as a student of David J. Gross. He performed postdoctoral work at the Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics at SUNY at Stony Brook and worked as a research assistant professor at Brown University. During this period, he worked on quantum chromodynamics, developing key factorization theorems with George Sterman, and the theory of quantum Hall effect transport, discovering the scaling theory with Herbert Levine and Aad Pruisken. Beginning work in applied physics in 1986 at LLNL, he focused on x-ray laser research, becoming the design group and program leader. He was also a consulting professor at Stanford University from 1992–1994. He served at the Department of Energy (DOE) as the Defense Programs LLNL "Science Council" member and in the Advanced Strategic Computing Office. He was also a member of the National Research Council "Rare Isotope Science" committee. He was awarded a DOE Defense Programs Excellence Award in 2014 for work on equations of state. Libby is a fellow of the American Physical Society and holds a certificate in international security from Stanford University.

Publications (selected)

View a full list of publications on Google Scholar.

  1. S. B. Libby and G. Sterman, "Jet and Lepton Pair Production in High Energy Lepton-Hadron and Hadron-Hadron Scattering," Phys. Rev. D 18, (1978) 3252.
  2. S. B. Libby and G. Sterman, "Mass Divergences in Two Particle Inelastic Scattering," Phys. Rev. D 18, (1979) 4737.
  3. H. Levine, S. B. Libby, and A. Pruisken, "Electron Delocalization by a Magnetic Field in Two Dimensions," Phys. Rev. Lett. 51, (1983) 1915.
  4. H.  Levine, S. B. Libby, and A. Pruisken, "Theory of the Quantized Hall Effect I, II, III" Nucl. Phys. B 240 FS12, (1984) 30, 49, 71.
  5. H. Levine, and S. B. Libby, "Renormalization of the Theta Angle, the Quantum Hall Effect and the Strong CP Problem," Phys. Lett. 150B, (1985) 182.
  6. R. B. Laughlin, M. L. Cohen, J. M. Kosterlitz, H. Levine, S. B. Libby, and A. Pruisken, "Scaling of Conductivities in the Fractional Quantum Hall Effect," Phys. Rev. B 32, (1985) 1311.
  7. S. B. Libby, Z. Zou, and R. B. Laughlin, "Non-Abelian Monopoles in the 3-Dimensional Chiral Spin Liquid," Nuclear Physics B 348 FS, (1991) 693.
  8. L. B. Da Silva, T. W. Barbee, Jr., R. Cauble, P. Celliers, D. Ciarlo, S. Libby, R. A. London, D. L. Matthews, S. Mrowka, J. C. Moreno, D. Ress, J. E. Trebes, A. Wan, F. Weber, "Electron Density Measurements of High Density Plasmas Using Soft X-Ray Laser Interferometry," Phys. Rev. Lett. 74, (1995), 3991.
  9. E. M. Campbell, N. C. Holmes, S. B. Libby, B. A. Remington, E. Teller, "The Evolution of High Energy Density Physics: from Nuclear Testing to the Superlasers," Lasers and Particle Beams, (1997), Vol. 15, No. 4, 607.
  10. S. B. Libby, F. Graziani, R. M. More, T. Kato, “Systematic Investigation of NLTE Phenomena in the Limit of Small Departures from LTE,” in “13th International Conf. on Laser Interaction and Related Plasma Phenomena,” Monterey, CA, 1997, AIP Conf. Proc. No. 406, (1998).
  11. R. M. More, S. B. Libby, G. Faussurier, and T. Kato, “Atomic Processes in Near Equilibrium Plasmas,” Journal of Quant. Spect. & Rad. Transfer, 71, (2-6), (2001), 505-518.
  12. S. B. Libby and M. S. Weiss, “Edward Teller’s Science,” Physics Today, 57, 8, 45-50, (2004). 
  13. S. B. Libby and A. M. Sessler, “Edward Teller Biographical Memoir,” in the Proceedings of The Edward Teller Centennial Symposium, World Scientific, Singapore, (2010).
  14. S. B. Libby, V. Sonnad, S. A. Kreek, K. W. Brady, M. R. Matthews, B. Dubetsky, A. Vitouchkine, B. C. Young, “Feasibility Study of a Passive, Stand-off Detector of High-Density Masses with a Gravity Gradiometer Based on Atom Interferometry,” LLNL-TR-465878, 2011.
  15. C. R. Phipps, K. L. Baker, S. B. Libby, D. A. Liedahl, S. S. Olivier, L. D. Pleasance, A. Rubenchik, J. E. Trebes, E. V. George, B. Marcovici, J. P. Reilly, and M. T. Valley, “Removing Orbital Debris With Lasers,” Advances in Space Research, Vol. 49, # 9, 1283–1300 (2012).
  16. D. A. Liedahl, A. Rubenchik, S. B. Libby, S. Nikolaev, C. R. Phipps, “Pulsed Laser Interactions with Space Debris: Target Shape Effects,” Advances in Space Research, Volume 52, Issue 5, pp. 895-915, (2013).
  17. J. A. Gaffney, D. Clark, V. Sonnad, S. B. Libby, “Development of a Bayesian method for the analysis of inertial confinement fusion experiments on the NIF, Nuclear Fusion 53, 073032, (2013).
  18. D. D. Hickstein, W. Xiong, F. Dollar, J. A. Gaffney, M. E. Foord, G. M. Petrov, B. B. Palm, K. E. Keister, J. L. Ellis, C. Ding, S. B. Libby, J. L. Jimenez, H. C. Kapteyn, M. M. Murnane, “Observation and Control of Shock Structures in Individual Nanoplamas,” Physical Review Letters, Vol. 112, #11, 115004, (2014).
  19. M. C. Levy, S. C. Wilks, M. Tabak, S. B. Libby, and M. G. Baring, “Petawatt laser absorption bounded,” Nature Communications, Vol. 5, Art. 4149, (2014).
  20. G. Faussurier, S. B. Libby, P. L. Silvestrelli, “The viscosity to entropy ratio: From string theory motivated bounds to warm dense matter,” High Energy Density Physics, Vol. 12, 21-26, (2014).
  21. D. Popmintchev, C. Hernández-García, F. Dollar, C. Mancuso, J. A. Pérez-Hernández3, M. - C. Chen, A. Hankla, X. Gao, B. Shim, A. L. Gaeta, M. Tarazkar, D. A. Romanov, Robert J. Levis, J. A. Gaffney, M. Foord, S. B. Libby, A. Jaron-Becker, A. Becker, L. Plaja, M. M. Murnane, H. C. Kapteyn, T. Popmintchev, “Ultraviolet Surprise: Efficient Soft X-ray High Harmonic Generation in Multiply-Ionized Plasmas,” Science, Vol. 350, # 6265, 1225-1231, (2015).
  22. B. Dubetsky, S. B. Libby, and P. R. Berman, “Atom Interferometry in the Presence of an External Test Mass,” Atoms 2016, 4, 14; doi:10.3390/atoms4020014. ArXiv:1601.00355.
  23. R. T. Sutherland, R. Srinivas, S. C. Burd, D. Leibfried, A. C. Wilson, D. J. Wineland, D. T. C. Allcock, D. H. Slichter, S. B. LibbyVersatile laser-free trapped-ion entangling gates, New Journal of Physics 21, (2019) 033033.
  24. R. T. Sutherland, R. Srinivas, S. C. Burd , H. M. Knaack, A. C. Wilson, D. J. Wineland, D. Leibfried, D. T. C. Allcock, D. H. Slichter, and S. B. Libby, Laser-free trapped-ion entangling gates with simultaneous insensitivity to qubit and motional decoherence, Physical Review A 101, 042334 (2020).
  25. Y. Shi, A. R. Castelli, I. Joseph, V. Geyko, F. R. Graziani, S. B. Libby, J. B. Parker, Y. J. Rosen, and J. L. DuBois, Quantum computation of three-wave interactions with engineered cubic couplings, arXiv:2004.06885v1 [quant-ph] (2020).
  26. G. E. Kemp, M. S. Rubery, C. D. Harris, M. J. May, K. Widmann, R. F. Heeter, S. B. Libby, M. B. Schneider, and B. E. Blue, A genetic algorithm approach to reconstructing spectral content from filtered x-ray diode array spectrometers, submitted to Reviews of Scientific Instruments, (2020).

Edited Conference Proceedings

The Edward Teller Centennial Symposium,” Stephen B. Libby & Karl A. Van Bibber, Eds., The Bankhead Theater, Livermore, CA, May 28, 2008; World Scientific, Singapore, 2010.

Advances in the Computational Sciences,” E. Schwegler, B. M. Rubenstein, S. B. Libby, Eds., Proceedings of the Symposium in Honor of Dr. Berni Alder’s 90th Birthday, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 20 August 2015, World Scientific, 2017.