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300 Gigawatt laser can simulate black hole accretion disk

Posted on Wednesday, October 21 2009 @ 10:13:19 CEST by


A team of international researchers have figured out how to use a 300 gigawatt laser to simulate the environment near a black hole:
Black holes are famous for having a gravitational field that is so potent that light cannot escape its pull. But that same gravitational pull causes nearby matter to reach energies that results in a prodigious amount of radiation, from regular light up to X-rays and beyond. Researchers have attempted to model the behavior of matter as it gets drawn into accretion disks near a black hole in order to understand this radiation, but the conditions in these areas are difficult to reproduce on Earth. Now, a consortium of researchers from China, Japan, and Korea have figured out how to use a 300 GigaWatt laser to reproduce conditions near the accretion disk, and have successfully reproduced the spectrum observed near both black holes and neutron stars.
More info at ARS Technica.


 



 

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