The article makes it sound like the mystery of where the additional energy came from is the item of most significance, but we can probably safely assume that the "no free lunch" laws of thermodynamics still hold, and if we assume there's no new physics (I mean fundamental physics, not "Gee, we had no idea particles in microturbulent magnetic fields at high temperatures would behave this way") then the most interesting result is the ability to achieve temperatures of billions of degrees, because it's the inability to continuously maintain very high temperatures that has kept fusion from becoming a commercial possibility for power generation.
This is certainly the important point in all of this. And magnetohydrodynamics at these temperatures is the "new physics", not, as you point out, some new fundemental physics. I don't think we're tapping the vacuum energy yet :)
There is no point at all talking about these particular temperatures in relation to modifying decay rates on earth. If such temperatures could exist external of some extreme containment, there would be no earth to worry about!
Scientists at Sandia National Labs were able to heat gas up to massive temperatures. The thing that is more interesting then actually heating something over a billion degrees is that theoretically there is some extra source of energy involved in achieving these extrodinarly lofty temps.
Can anyone tell me how they measured the heat of the gas? Pressure?
Based on the newsletter I read they claim they could calculate the temperature based on the energy/frequency of the particles. I don't know how they can capture that information but apparently they can.Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)
I agree that I would like to see it duplicated at another facility before I buy the t-shirt but coming from SNL I tend to trust the info a little bit more. SNL is absoutly tedious about managing its public perception and, because of the work done there they don't have to share info about results with anyone except uncle sam, the fact that they would put this out publically gives me confidence that at least they are convinced that they result is accurate.
I am excited about the possibility that something like this might be the key that unlocks the door to fusion because it seems that a rig like the Z-Machine is much simpler than the MASSIVE lasers currently being built to induce fusion where there is no guarantee of getting a positive return.
Of course, biblical creationists are committed to belief in God's written Word, the Bible, which forbids bearing false witness; --AIG (lest they forget)