The Z Machine is unlike any lab found on Earth. We visited this massive facility to find out how it's recreating the extreme conditions of the universe. Part 2 will be live tomorrow.
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The whole point of the Z machine is to store energy, and then compress it in time and space to achieve high energy densities.
Essentially, this means the Z Machine can replicate the cosmos right here on Earth. Allowing scientists to run a wide array of experiments giving researchers the ability to study everything from plasma to x-rays to neutrons and nuclear fusion.
Expanding beyond weapons research to drive innovation in the fields of material science, renewable energy and even helping redefine our very understanding of the universe.
Find out more about the Z Machine in part 1 of this Focal Point double feature, and keep an eye out for part 2 tomorrow!
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“Sandia’s Z machine is Earth’s most powerful pulsed-power facility and X-ray generator.
Z compresses energy in time and space to achieve extreme powers and intensities, found nowhere else on Earth. In approximately 200 shots Z fires every year, the machine uses currents of about 26 million amps to reach peak X-ray emissions of 350 terawatts and an X-ray output of 2.7 megajoules.”
With a touch of thermonuclear bomb fuel, 'Z machine' could provide fusion energy of the future
“Every time the plasma physicists at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, fire a shot on their fusion reactor, a big chunk of the hardware goes up in smoke. Their Z machine contains banks of capacitors that fill up with more electrical energy than a thousand lightning bolts.”
Remaking a Planet One Atom at a Time
“When is a planet not a planet? Where does helium rain? How can water be solid and liquid at the same time? For answers, scientists put common planetary materials under extreme pressure and watched what happened next.”
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