NOV 06, 2020 6:00 AM PST

The Most Powerful X-ray Source On Earth

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

Located inside the Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Z Pulsed Power Facility (or Z Machine) is the most powerful X-ray source constructed by humans.

Since the end of world war two, Department of Energy (DOE) scientists have been using this monstrous instrument to experiment with plasma confinement for the development of thermonuclear weapons. 

The operation of the Z machine relies on the zeta-pinch principle: an electrical current runs through a plasma-containing cylinder on its Z-axis, generating an intense electromagnetic field that compresses the plasma towards its center. The sudden and transient "pinch" of plasma allows researchers to achieve ultra high energy densities and high-intensity X-rays. 

After its refurbishment in 1996, the Z machine has been used primarily to support fusion-related research, on top of advancing our knowledge in material science, renewable energy, and cosmology.

Source: Seeker via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
DEC 19, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Urine Tests Sets Parents' Minds at Ease in Minutes After a Miscarriage Threat
DEC 19, 2020
Urine Tests Sets Parents' Minds at Ease in Minutes After a Miscarriage Threat
Researchers have developed a chip-based test that can determine pregnancy outcomes after the signs of a possible miscarr ...
DEC 31, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Improving the efficiency of desalination membranes
DEC 31, 2020
Improving the efficiency of desalination membranes
Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and Penn State have taken a step toward developing a cost-effective d ...
JAN 03, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Cracking the structural code of nacre
JAN 03, 2021
Cracking the structural code of nacre
Researchers have finally figured out how nacre – also known as mother of pearl – forms its perfect structure ...
JAN 12, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Newly discovered quasar sheds light on the early Universe
JAN 12, 2021
Newly discovered quasar sheds light on the early Universe
What exactly is a quasar? Astronomers define quasars as huge active galactic nuclei that house supermassive black holes ...
JAN 20, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Check out this anode-free, zinc-based battery
JAN 20, 2021
Check out this anode-free, zinc-based battery
It is at once imperative and urgent to develop batteries capable of storing large amounts of energy if we are to success ...
JAN 24, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
ALMA observations give insight into the formation of stars
JAN 24, 2021
ALMA observations give insight into the formation of stars
New research published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics gives new insight into the mystery behind how stars f ...
Loading Comments...