Archive for March 5th, 2012

2 million degrees

March 5, 2012

An x-ray laser fired at a sample of aluminum has generated temperatures of 2 million °C (3.6 million °F) — hotter than the sun’s corona.

Scientists achieved the sizzling temperatures using a powerful x-ray laser. They did it by focusing rapid-fire pulses from the beam on a piece of aluminum foil thinner than spider’s silk, they were able to create a material known as hot dense matter.

The advancement represents the first time researchers have been able to produce such plasmas in a controlled way.

Hot dense matter is some of the most extreme material in the universe, only existing in the hearts of stars and giant gas planets. Having a sample of it in the lab should provide insights into the material, helping scientists to create better models of its behaviour. Learn more here.