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Lee A. Bernstein

Adjunct Professor
4159 Etcheverry Hall
Additional Affiliation: 

Nuclear Data Group, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab


B.A. (Physics) - Rutgers University, 1988

M.S. (Physics) – University of Maryland, 1990

Ph.D. (Nuclear Physics) – Rutgers University, 1994

Teaching and Research: 

Professor Bernstein is the Nuclear Data Group Leader at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).  He leads the Data Evaluation for Applied Nuclear Science (DEANS) project at UC-Berkeley as a part of the US Nuclear Data Program.  Dr. Bernstein is an advisor to the Nuclear Data Services Section of the International Atomic Energy Agency.  Prior to coming to LBNL, Dr. Bernstein was a Staff Scientist for 22 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he served as a Project Leader and Deputy Group Leader. Dr. Bernstein’s research covers a wide range of nuclear and plasma physics including:

  • Nuclear Data Evaluations for Basic and Applied Nuclear Science and Engineering.

  • Statistical properties of nuclear matter, including level densities and radiative strength.

  • Neutron-induced reaction cross section measurements.

  • Charged-particle reaction cross section measurements for Medical Isotope production.

  • Nuclear physics in high energy density plasmas

  • Neutron source development

Dr. Bernstein currently teaches the upper-level undergraduate/beginning graduate course sequence in nuclear physics (NE101-102).  Starting in fall 2017 he will also be teaching a special topics course in nuclear science.  Dr. Bernstein has authored over 150 papers in low-energy nuclear physics and is an active referee for Physical Review and Nuclear Physics A. 

Honors and Awards: 
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (Division of Nuclear Physics) “For work developing novel methods of determining neutron-nucleus cross sections via high-resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy, the early development of surrogate ratio method, and the study of nuclear processes in high energy density plasmas at NIF”- September 2015

  • Recipient of 3 LLNL Physical and Life Science Directorate Awards – Outstanding mentoring, Post-doctoral mentor and External Leadership – September 2015

  • Directors Science and Technology Award for the Development of Gaseous and Solid Radchem at the National Ignition Facility – October 2014

  • Physics Division Award for Teaching Nuclear Physics in HED Plasmas – October 2014

  • Recipient of the Defense Programs Award of Excellence for Measurement of the 239Pu(n,2n) Cross Section238Pu, 2001.

  • American Physical Society Committee on Membership. 2001-2003. Chair 2002-2003.

  • Recipient of the DOE Defense Program Award for Measuring the 239Pu(n,2n)238Pu Cross Section for En< 20 MeV using GEANIE at LANSCE.  – 2001
Professional Activities: 

Recent Invited talks/Conference Chairmanships

  • “Inelastic Neutron Scattering from Baghdad to Berkeley”.  Cyclotron Institute Colloquium, Texas A&M University.  March 8, 2017.

  • “Nuclear Data Needs for Isotope Production”.  Workshop on Isotope Production.  Texas A&M University Cyclotron Institute.  March 9, 2017.

  • “Nuclear data activities and neutron science in the SF Bay Area”, 2nd Annual Peder Sather workshop on nuclear data needs for the Thorium Fuel Cycle. Berkeley, CA (12/8-10/14).

  • “Introducing the UC-Berkeley component of the Bay Area Nuclear Data (BAND) Program”, Nuclear Data Week, Brookhaven Natl. Lab., Upton NY.  (11/6/14)

  • Statistical Properties of Nuclei Workshop.  European Center for Theoretical Physics, Trento, Italy July 11-15, 2016  (  

  • International Nuclear Physics conference, Bruges Belgium September 11-16, 2016 (

  • Nuclear Data Needs and Capabilities for Applications, LBNL (5/27-29/15).  Lead Organizer and whitepaper editor.

  • The 2nd conference on laser energetics and laser astrophysics (CLE 2015)”, Yokohama, Japan (4/22-24/15). – Member of the International Advisory Committee.

  • Joint Division of Nuclear Physics/Division of Astrophysics Long-Range Planning Meeting, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, (8/24-26/14) – Session Convener.

  • “Nuclear Symmetries and Stewardship Science: The Research of Jolie Cizewski”, Lawrence Berkeley Nat’l Lab, Berkeley CA (5/1-2/14).  – Workshop Co-Chair.  

  • “The 15th international symposium on Capture Gamma Ray Spectroscopy and Related topics”, Forschungzentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany (8/25-29/14).  Member of the International Advisory Committee.  

  • “Nuclear Fusion from NIF to the stars”.  248th Meeting of the American Chemical Society, San Francisco CA (8/10-11/14). - Convener

Selected Publications: 
  1. Beam-induced back-streaming electron suppression analysis for an accelerator type neutron generator designed for 40Ar/39Ar geochronology.  Cory Waltz⁎, Mauricio Ayllon, Tim Becker, Lee Bernstein, Ka-Ngo Leung, Leo Kirsch, Paul Renne, Karl Van Bibber.  Applied Radiation and Isotopes, Volume 125, Pages 124–128 (July 2017).  
  2. White paper on nuclear astrophysics and low energy nuclear physics Part 1: Nuclear astrophysics.   Almudena Arcones, Dan W. Bardayan, Timothy C. Beers, Lee A. Bernstein et al., Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics, Volume 94, May 2017, Pages 1–67.  
  3. A recoverable gas-cell diagnostic for the National Ignition Facility.  A Ratkiewicz, L Berzak Hopkins, DL Bleuel, LA Bernstein, K van Bibber, WS Cassata, BL Goldblum, S Siem, CA Velsko, M Wiedeking, CB Yeamans.  Review of Scientific Instruments 87 (11), 11D825 (2016).
  4. Magnetic moment and lifetime measurements of Coulomb-excited states in 106Cd.  N Benczer-Koller, GJ Kumbartzki, K-H Speidel, DA Torres, SJQ Robinson, YY Sharon, JM Allmond, P Fallon, I Abramovic, LA Bernstein, JE Bevins, HL Crawford, ZE Guevara, AM Hurst, L Kirsch, TA Laplace, A Lo, EF Matthews, I Mayers, LW Phair, F Ramirez, A Wiens, et al., Physical Review C 94 (3), 034303 (2016).
  5. Nature of low-lying electric dipole resonance excitations in 74Ge.  D Negi, M Wiedeking, EG Lanza, E Litvinova, A Vitturi, RA Bark, LA Bernstein, DL Bleuel, S Bvumbi, TD Bucher, BH Daub, TS Dinoko, JL Easton, A Görgen, M Guttormsen, P Jones, BV Kheswa, NA Khumalo, AC Larsen, EA Lawrie, JJ Lawrie, SNT Majola, LP Masiteng, MR Nchodu, J Ndayishimye, RT Newman, SP Noncolela, JN Orce, P Papka, L Pellegri, T Renstrøm, DG Roux, R Schwengner, O Shirinda, S Siem.  Physical Review C 94 (2), 024332 (2016).
  6. Completing the nuclear reaction puzzle of the nucleosynthesis of 92Mo.  GM Tveten, A Spyrou, R Schwengner, F Naqvi, AC Larsen, TK Eriksen, FL Bello Garrote, LA Bernstein, DL Bleuel, L Crespo Campo, M Guttormsen, F Giacoppo, A Görgen, TW Hagen, K Hadynska-Klek, M Klintefjord, BS Meyer, HT Nyhus, T Renstrøm, SJ Rose, E Sahin, S Siem, TG Tornyi.  Physical Review C 94 (2), 025804 (2016).  
  7. Review of the National Ignition Campaign 2009-2012, J.D. Lindl et al., Physics of Plasmas, Vol. 21, #12, 129902 (2014).
  8. Photon Strength Function at Low Energies in 95Mo, M Wiedeking, LA Bernstein, JM Allmond, MS Basunia, DL Bleuel, JT Burke, P Fallon, RB Firestone, BL Goldblum, R Hatarik, M Krtička, PT Lake, AC Larsen, I-Y Lee, SR Lesher, S Paschalis, M Petri, L Phair, ND Scielzo, Nucl. Data Sheets 119, p. 258 (2014).
  9. Radiochemical determination of Inertial Confinement Fusion capsule compression at the National Ignition Facility, D.A. Shaughnessy et al., Rev. Sci. Instrum. 85 (6) 063508 (2014). 
  10. Relative light yield and temporal response of a stilbene-doped bibenzyl organic scintillator for neutron detection.  JA Brown, BL Goldblum, LA Bernstein, DL Bleuel, NM Brickner, JA Caggiano, BH Daub, GS Kaufman, R Hatarik, TW Phillips, SA Wender, K van Bibber, J Vujic, NP Zaitseva.  Journal of Applied Physics 115 #19, 193504 (2014). 
  11. Low Energy Neutron Measurements in High Energy Density Plasmas using the National Ignition Facility.  L.A. Bernstein et al., Plasma and Fusion Research: Vol. 9, 4404101 (2014).
  12. Scissors resonance in the quasicontinuum of Th, Pa, and U isotopes.   Guttormsen, M; Bernstein, LA; Görgen, A; Jurado, J; Siem, S; Aiche, M; Ducasse, Q; Giacoppo, G; Gunsing, F; Hagen, TW; Larsen, AC; Lebois, M; Leniau, B; Tenstrøm, T; Rose, SJ; Tornyi, TG; Tveten, GM; Wiedeking, M; Wilson, JN.  Physical Review C89, #1, 014302 (2014). 
  13. Constant-temperature level densities in the quasicontinuum of Th and U isotopes. Guttormsen. M; Jurado, B; Wilson, JN; Aiche, M; Bernstein, LA; Ducasse, Q; Giacoppo, F; Görgen. A; Gunsing, F; Hagen, TW; Larsen, AC; Lebois, M; Leniau, B; Renstrøm, T; Rose, SJ; Siem, S; Tornyi, T; Tveten, GM; Wiedeking, M, Physical Review C88.; #2, 024307 (2013).
  14. Determination of the deuterium-tritium branching ratio based on inertial confinement fusion implosions, Kim, Y. et al., Physical Review C85,  #6, 61601, (2012).
  15. Indirect (n, gamma) cross sections of thorium cycle nuclei using the surrogate method, Wilson, JN; Gunsing, F.; Bernstein, LA; Bürger, A.; Goergen, A.; Guttormsen, M.; Larsen, AC; Mansouri, P.; Renstrøm, T.; Rose, SJ;  Physical Review C85,  #3, 34607, (2012).