Skip to content

June 8, 2014

Scientists use lasers to imitate an exploding star here on Earth

by John_A

University of Oxford mimics a supernova

It could be centuries (if ever) before humans can observe the behavior of a supernova first-hand, but scientists at the University of Oxford may have delivered the next best thing. They’ve recently simulated an exploding star by zapping an extremely thin carbon rod with a powerful laser; the resulting extra-hot blast (1.8 million degrees Fahrenheit) ripped through a chamber much like the real thing, as you can see pictured here. To add an extra dose of realism, the team added a plastic grid that replicated interference from dust and gases.

The ensuing swirls supported theories behind not just the behavior of supernovas, but the universe at large; turbulence in the test chamber amplified magnetic fields, suggesting that the earliest magnetism was created through similar chaos. Whether or not there’s an opportunity to prove this in the future, it’s clear that researchers are at least on the right track.

[Image credit: University of Oxford]

Filed under: Science, Alt



Source: Nature Physics

Read more from News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: