Diamond is one of the toughest, naturally occurring materials found on Earth. Now, the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can melt them using pressure, electromagnetic pulses, and enough current to light 100 million light bulbs.
The interior of the Z machine is 33 meters wide, and it was designed to research nuclear fusion, not to melt diamonds. It can also explore the behavior of materials at high temperatures and pressures, as well as act as a source of intense X-rays.
To begin, current is fired at hundreds of tiny tungsten wires, vaporizing them to form
The photo taken above shows lightning that sparks outside of the metal protrusions when the current is switched on. They only happen in an instant when the machine starts firing. The huge electromagnetic pulse would kill anyone trying to observe the firing of the accelerator.
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