Image via NASA
To me, science is astounding. I’m perfectly happy in my bubble where space is neat, but also so enormous that I feel like an ant. If you ever need another reminder on your insignificance, a group of American scientists have created something similar to a black hole. When we’re not trying to send people to the moon, scientists are off trying to recreate the effects of black holes. Because of course.
Using the world’s most powerful X-ray laser Scientists created an anomaly similar to a black hole. This isn’t even the first time they’ve tried to do it either. They’ve simply succeeded this time around.
Led by Daniel Rolles and Artem Rudenko of Kansas State University, the experiment took place at SLAC lab’s Linac Coherent Light Source office in Menlo Park, California. Basically, they shot a high-intensity beam at tiny molecules. This caused a void to be formed in the molecules that behaved similarly to black holes – i.e they started dragging in their own electrons. It was on a relatively tiny scale and only lasted within 30 femtoseconds – a quadrillionth of a second – before exploding. The scientists weren’t expecting it, and frankly, neither were we.
“We certainly weren’t expecting this from previous measurements,” said Sebastien Boutet, a co-author of the study and a scientist at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
This laser has been used in the past to attempt to replicateindividual biological items like bacteria at a high resolution. They are also attempting to understand how matter and the nature of molecules perform under certain conditions.
“For any type of experiment you do that focuses intense X-rays on a sample, you want to understand how it reacts to the X-rays,” said Daniel Rolles of Kansas State University in a press release. “This paper shows that we can understand and model the radiation damage in small molecules, so now we can predict what damage we will get in other systems.”
Mind blown. I think I need a nap now.