Do you know what the hottest temperature
ever recorded was? Take a guess... I bet you guess low. It was 3.6 billion
degrees Fahrenheit, which is around 2 billion Kelvin. To give you some idea how hot that is, the interior of the sun is a frosty 15 million Kelvin. The record-setting temperature
was set by the Z machine at Sandia Lab in 2006. The Z machine is an x-ray generator that is used to test the response of materials to extreme temperatures and pressures. It releases 20 million amps of electricity into an array of fine wires, vaporizing them into plasma
. A strong magnetic field compresses the plasma, which releases x-rays and tends to be a few million degrees. Scientists don't know how or why the Z machine achieved such incredible temperatures, though they were able to reproduce the result. When the record temperatures were achieved, the plasma was releasing more energy than had been input, which usually indicates a nuclear reaction is occurring. I've been wondering how they measured a temperature that high in the first place. If you have any insight into that, please post a reply.