Electron pulse crushes aluminum cylinder

July 29, 2005

U.S. scientists in Nevada this week crushed an aluminum cylinder the size of a tuna can using electrons from the 650-ton Atlas pulsed power generator.

It took just a few millionths of a second Wednesday to execute the Nevada Test Site experiment, which was designed to better understand how nuclear weapons perform, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Thursday.

A statement from the National Nuclear Security Administration, which operates the test site 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, said the experiment was the first since the generator was relocated from the Los Alamos, N.M., national laboratory.

"The goal of the inaugural NTS experiment was to demonstrate that Atlas remains capable of the implosion quality obtained in experiments conducted three years ago in Los Alamos," the statement read, noting "significant improvements" were made in the interim.

The 80-foot diameter machine is one of a few devices scientists use to conduct materials tests and simulation experiments on the nation's aging nuclear stockpile, the newspaper said. Those scientists are charged with ensuring U.S. nuclear warheads are safe and reliable as plutonium and other components become older.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Scrutiny intensifies over safety at US nuclear weapons lab

Related Stories

Why is climate change such a hard sell in the US?

June 8, 2017

President Donald Trump on June 1 took the dramatic step of removing the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement – the product of many years of diligent and difficult negotiation among 175 nations around the world. Recent ...

Jordanians fret over 'dangerous' nuclear plan

November 5, 2013

Jordan's plan to build its first nuclear plant with Russian help has stirred fresh fears and suspicions as experts called for the "dangerous" and "illogical" project to be abandoned.

Recommended for you

Scientists uncover origins of the Sun's swirling spicules

June 22, 2017

At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun's surface. They erupt as fast as 60 miles per second, and can reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. These are spicules, and ...

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

June 22, 2017

In an arranged marriage of optics and mechanics, physicists have created microscopic structural beams that have a variety of powerful uses when light strikes them. Able to operate in ordinary, room-temperature environments, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.