Monday, March 13, 2006
The Z Machine
"Why is this plasma so hot? Physicists aren't sure. What is known for sure is that the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratory created a plasma that was unexpectedly hot. The plasma reached a temperature in excess of two billion Kelvin, making it arguably the hottest human made thing ever in the history of the earth and, for a brief time, hotter than the interior of stars. The Z Machine experiment creates high temperatures by focusing 20 million amps of electricity into a small region further confined by a magnetic field. During the unexpected powerful contained explosion, the Z Machine released about 80 times the world's entire electrical power usage for a brief fraction of a second." (From Astronomy Picture of the Day--italics mine)
My gosh. What's next? We're going to unexpectedly blow up the world ...