Friday, 11 March 2011

Making Mini Stars

Stars are know for their extreme temperatures and conditions... yet scientists can make miniature versions here on Earth.

Well, sort of!

Ceri Brenner explained how in the latest Backstage Science video.

The mini-stars are actually tiny specks of plasma made by firing one of the world's most intense lasers, known as Vulcan.

Vulcan is a so-called petawatt laser.

It produces so much energy in such a short space of time I won't even bother writing all the big and small numbers... You can check out the official website for that stuff.

They do have one cool claim though... for 1 picosecond (0.000000000001 seconds) the laser beam is 10,000 times more powerful than Britain's National Grid.

That super intense laser is fired at a tiny target (and I mean tiny), which is unsurprisingly destroyed.

The target (pictured) is stripped of its electrons and a strange plasma forms for the briefest of moments.

That's the mini star!

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