STUNNED scientists have discovered a new ‘quasicrystal’ that formed during the first nuclear bomb test in 1945.
The Trinity test may have occurred over 75 years ago but researchers have only recently found the rare form of matter it created.
The tiny crystal is a 20-sided grain of silicon, copper, calcium and iron[/caption]
Quasicrystals were previously thought to be impossible structures until recent decades.
Geophysicist Terry Wallace from the Los Alamos National Laboratory explained: “Quasicrystals are formed in extreme environments that rarely exist on Earth.
“They require a traumatic event with extreme shock, temperature, and pressure.
“We don’t typically see that, except in something as dramatic as a nuclear explosion.”
The Trinity test happened on July 16, 1945 in the early hours of the morning[/caption]
It seems the Trinity test, which saw the US Army denote a nuclear bomb that was the equivalent of 21 kilotons of TNT, was enough of a traumatic event to create the rare crystal.
The test happened on the morning of July 16, 1945 in New Mexico.
The bomb involved was called the Gadget and it quickly vaporised the 98 foot test tower nearby.
It also vaporised the miles of copper wire attached to the test tower.
The extreme process fused the tower, copper wire, asphalt and the desert sand below together.
This formed a glass-like mineral called trinitite.
Decades after this, scientists have discovered a quasicrystal in a piece of that trinitite.
It’s so rare because it’s atoms don’t follow the normal pattern of common crystals like salt.
Geologist Luca Bindi and his team were using techniques called electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction to analyse trinitite when they made the discovery.
The test vaporised the 98 foot test tower[/caption]
The tiny quasicrystal is a 20-sided grain of silicon, copper, calcium and iron with an odd atom pattern.
Wallace added: “This quasicrystal is magnificent in its complexity—but nobody can yet tell us why it was formed in this way.
“But someday, a scientist or engineer is going to figure that out and the scales will be lifted from our eyes and we will have a thermodynamic explanation for its creation.
“Then, I hope, we can use that knowledge to better understand nuclear explosions and ultimately lead to a more complete picture of what a nuclear test represents.”
The quasicrystal is now the oldest known manmade quasicrystal.
Other quasicrystals have been found deep inside meteorites or created in laboratories.
A study about the quasicrystal has been published in the PNAS journal.
Terrifying space weapons of the future
Here are three of the scariest…
Rods from God
- A strange but utterly terrifying weapon has been dubbed “rods from the God” and is based on the concept of creating man-made meteorites that can be guided towards the enemy.
- Instead of using rocks rods the size of telephone poles are deployed.
- These would be made out of tungsten — a rare metal that can stand the intense heat generated by entering Earth’s atmosphere.
- One satellite fires the rods towards the Earth’s atmosphere while the other steers them to a target on the ground.
- Reaching speeds of 7000mph they hit the ground with the force of a small nuclear weapon — but crucially creating no radiation fall out.
- As bizarre as it sounds, a US Congressional report recently revealed the military has been pushing ahead with the kinetic space weapons.
Molten metal cannons
- This intriguing idea is being developed by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
- It is called the Magneto Hydrodynamic Explosive Munition or MAHEM.
- This game changing rail-gun can fire a jet of molten metal, hurled through space at several hundred miles per second by the most powerful electromagnets ever built.
- The molten metal can then morph into an aerodynamic slug during flight and pierce through another spacecraft or satellite and a munition explodes inside.
Space force ships
- Already the United States is powering head with its spacecraft, although China is busy developing one of their own.
- The top secret American XS-1 under development by DARPA.
- It can travel ten times the speed of sound and launch missiles.
- Meanwhile an unmanned craft is currently being developed in the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Mianyang, Sichuan province, which is also known as Base 29.
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