NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection
Z Machine Sets Unexpected Earth Temperature Record
Why is this plasma so hot? Physicists [ http://en.wikipedia ] aren't sure. What is known for sure is that the Z Machine running at Sandia National Laboratories [ http://www.sandia.g ] created a plasma [ http://en.wikipedia ] that was unexpectedly hot. The plasma reached a temperature in excess of two billion Kelvin [ http://lamar.colost ], making it arguably [ http://bb.nightskyl ] the hottest human made thing [ http://www.guinness ] ever in the history of the Earth [ http://www.historyo ] and, for a brief time, hotter than the interiors of stars. The Z Machine [ http://en.wikipedia ] experiment, pictured above [ http://www.sandia.g ], purposely creates high temperatures by focusing 20 million amps [ http://science.hows ] of electricity [ http://www.infoplea ] into a small region further confined by a magnetic field [ http://www-istp.gsf ]. Vertical wires give the Z Machine its name. During the unexpected powerful contained explosion, the Z machine released about 80 times the world's entire electrical power [ http://en.wikipedia ] usage for a brief fraction of a second. Experiments with the Z Machine [ http://www.sandia.g ] are helping to explain the physics of Solar flares [ http://antwrp.gsfc. ], design more efficient nuclear fusion plants [ http://www.nuc.berk ], test materials under extreme heat, and gather data for the computer modeling of nuclear explosions.
Credit and Copyright:
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
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