The lowest temperature in the universe has already been achieved on the International Space Station, in an experiment that we already explained to you, so now another laboratory has chosen to conceive the densest object on our entire planet .
This object has only existed for a very short time (less than a billionth of a second), and it consisted of compressing microscopic samples of copper at pressures of 30 million atmospheres .
Copper thinner than human hair
The unit of pressure called atmosphere is equivalent to the pressure exerted by the earth’s atmosphere at sea level . In the aforementioned study, it is revealed that copper maintains its crystalline structure at pressures ranging from one atmosphere to more than 30 million atmospheres. These extreme conditions tripled the density of the sample, creating the densest object on the planet for a brief moment in time.
This has been possible using the National Ignition Facility, the world’s largest energetic laser, by researchers from the LLNL (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). The results have been published in Physical Review Letters .
To determine how the stiffness of copper responded to increased pressure, the research team took a series of X-ray images to monitor the crystal structure as the copper was compressed. They also measured how the speed of the sound waves changed as the copper was tightened .
As Dayne Fratanduono , LLNL physicist and lead author of the article, explains:
Generating such extreme states of matter requires limiting large amounts of energy in extremely small volumes, which we achieve using NIF, the world’s largest and most energetic laser facility. Producing high energy density states of matter is easy to achieve in practice, but extremely difficult to measure accurately.