January 30, 2012

X-Ray Laser Heats Metal to 3.6 Million Degrees

Dave Mosher, National Geographic


Univ. of Oxford

By zapping a piece of aluminum with the world's most powerful x-ray laser, physicists have heated matter to 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit (2 million degrees Celsius)—making it briefly the hottest thing on Earth.

Only locations such as the heart of the sun or the center of a nuclear explosion are hotter.

To the researchers, though, the cosmic-level heat wasn't a goal but a side effect.

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TAGGED: Plasma, Lasers, X-ray

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