Scientists accidentally produce gas more than 100 times hotter than the sun

plasma lightningScientists using the Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories have produced superheated gas exceeding temperatures of 2 billion degrees Kelvin, or 3.6 billion degrees Fahrenheit. 100 times hotter than the sun, and the highest temperature recorded on earth.

Unfortunately, they don’t have the foggiest idea how they did it, apart from some vague theory of an unknown energy source.

Boy am I glad they’re not in South Africa, we have enough trouble with Eskom not quite knowing what’s cooking with known energy sources. Link

Update: High-res photo of doomsday Z machine here

2006.03.09