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World's Fastest Water Heater Won't Be For Making Coffee: 100,000 Degrees In An Instant

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It is probably safe to say that the world's fastest water heater, which is capable of heating water to 100,000 degrees Celsius in an instant, will not be used simply for making coffee.

The experiment, which was carried out by Swedish researchers, will be looking to unlock the remaining mysteries surrounding the most important liquid on Earth.

What Is The World's Fastest Water Heater?

Scientists used a powerful X-ray laser as the world's fastest water heater, heating water from room temperature to 100,000 degrees Celsius in less than tenth of a picosecond.

For those who are wondering what a picosecond looks like, it is a millionth of a million of a second, which is even faster than the blink of an eye.

The laser that was transformed into the world's fastest water heater was the Linac Coherent Light Source, which is held by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California. The LCLS was used to shoot "extremely intense and ultra-short flashes" of X-rays at water.

"It is not the usual way to boil your water," admitted Carl Caleman, from German research center DESY and the leader of the team of researchers from Sweden's Uppsala University. In regular heating such as over a stove, the water molecules are shaken to increase the temperature. However, the method of Caleman's team was fundamentally different, as the X-ray laser removed the electrons from the water molecules, destroying the balance of the electric charges and making the atoms move violently.

What Will Scientists Do With The World's Fastest Water Heater?

Instantly heating water to 100,000 degrees Celsius, however, is just the first part of the experiment that Caleman's team is planning to carry out.

When the X-ray laser is used to heat it, water transitions from liquid to plasma, which is a state of matter where the electrons were removed from the atoms, creating an electrically charged gas. However, while water undergoes that transformation, its density remains like liquid water. This is because the atoms have not yet moved significantly at such a short amount of time.

That state of matter could not be naturally found on Earth.

"It has similar characteristics as some plasmas in the sun and the gas giant Jupiter, but has a lower density. Meanwhile, it is hotter than Earth's core," noted study coauthor Olof Jonsson, who is also from Uppsala University.

The experiment will allow the researchers to learn more about the general properties of water. Water includes many anomalies, including its thermal conductivity, heat capacity, and density, all of which are important to supporting life on Earth.

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