“Exploring the most Extreme Conditions of Matter with ultra-bright X-rays”

Siegfried H. Glenzer

Engineering 120 (Hammond Auditorium)

Monday, October 31st at 4:00PM

Normally, what surrounds us are gases, liquids, or solids. But elsewhere in the universe, 99% of the observable nature exists under extreme conditions that lead to exotic states of matter and the formation of plasmas. Specifically, near the center of Jupiter, hydrogen becomes liquid or even solid – a process important to understand the evolution of our solar system. In the center of the sun, hydrogen is a plasma that burns itself up by nuclear fusion – a process humans want to harness for clean energy production on earth. In the mantle of Neptune, hydrogen and carbon cannot mix and are postulated to form giant diamonds – a process that can explain Neptune’s excess heat generation.  On the other hand, very hot plasmas are postulated to eject particles that we can observe as cosmic rays and that are a million times more energetic than produced by mankind’s largest machines. At SLAC, we are now studying these extreme states of matter in the laboratory.  [Read More…]




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