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Will NIF Put the Squeeze on Sandia's Z Pinch?

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Science  18 Jul 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5324, pp. 306
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5324.306

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The National Ignition Facility (NIF), a giant laser at Livermore, has an unexpected rival: a project at Sandia National Laboratory that emits powerful bursts of x-rays, called the Z pinch. The last year has seen a string of breakthroughs on the Sandia experiment, a simple array of wires that get vaporized by huge electrical currents, producing an ionized gas, or plasma. It now generates far more powerful bursts of x-rays than anybody thought possible—at 200 terawatts (trillion watts), rivaling those NIF is expected to produce.