Boiling some water is not a task that takes a lot of time. However, why not reduce it to a few seconds? Scientists have discovered that there is a way to make water boil almost instantly, as long as you have a powerful X-ray laser.
The experiment tested the world’s fastest water heater experiment and the goal of the scientists was to understand how X-ray lasers can be used to investigate various structures. The test revealed that the temperature of water can be raised up to 100,000 degrees Celsius in just one-Millionth of a millionth of a second.
The science behind the experiment
“X-ray lasers are typically used to investigate the structure of matter on extremely short time scales. Often one has proteins or protein crystals embedded in water, and we have discovered that water is heated in an extremely violent way, by ionizing it and breaking all the bonds,” explained Nicusor Timneau, a physics and astronomy researcher at Sweden’s Uppsala University told Digital Trends.
“Conventional ways of heating water will give energy to water molecules through heat transfer on a stove [or] vibrations in a microwave. Using X-ray lasers will basically vaporize the water ultrafast. This is exciting for us because we would like to understand how it is vaporized on such short times, using both computations and experiments,” he added.
This experiment allowed researchers to discover a new way of heating water. They performed the tests at Standford University’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and they used ultra-brief and intense flashes of X-rays which they fired at a jet of water.
“Understanding why and how it works helps all projects using X-ray lasers to investigate structure of proteins and or living cells, because they would know what the limitations and challenges are of such techniques,” Timneanu said.