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Supersonic ice experiments at LLE
Recent research utilizing the giant 60-beam Omega laser at LLE, a forerunner of the larger 192-beam National Ignition Facility system, has delivered the first experimental evidence supporting the existence of "supersonic ice". Said to be similar to the conditions inside giant gas planets like Uranus and Neptune, this exotic state of water is characterized by liquid-like hydrogen ions moving within a solid lattice of oxygen. This time-integrated image shows a laser-driven shock compression experiment at LLE, used to recreate planetary interior conditions and study the properties of supersonic water. Image: M. Millot/E. Kowaluk/J.Wickboldt/LLNL/LLE/NIF.
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