The World’s Most Powerful Laser Beam Creates Molecular Black Hole
Yesterday scientists at The National Accelerator Laboratory discovered that they were able to create a small molecular-scale black hole by stripping away a few of the electrons from the biggest atom creating a void that sucked in the remaining electrons, until the atom exploded.
“They are about a hundred times more intense than what you would get if you focused all the sunlight that hits the Earth’s surface onto a thumbnail,” said LCLS staff scientist and co-author Sebastien Boutet.
For this study the researchers had to use a special mirror to focus the X-ray beam into a spot just over 100 nanometers in diameter – about a hundredth the size of the one used in most CXI (Coherent X-ray Imaging) experiments, and a thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair. Read more here.