Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Z Machine

...Why make it up when all you have to do is report reality?

Want the hottest thing on Earth? Use a Z Machine! (Warning, some side effects may occur -- like small-scale nuclear fusion). Oh, yeah!

12 comments:

Turk Turon said...

"Caution: may cause injury or death. Read owner's manual before operating."

perlhaqr said...

I've seen that thing fire. And later on in my life, I found out that one of my (then) machining instructors had made a significant number of parts for it.

Anonymous said...

Oh sure, but Nikola Tesla could do that...with Alternating Current.

wv: rummrummrummrumm.bdZAAAAP

chris Muir said...

...and, you can be your own night light if you work there!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I expected a discussion of analog/digital today...

Stingray said...

Thermodynamics? This is New Mexico! We don't obey no steenkin' thermodynamics! More out than in sounds like a plan to me! Put me down for half a dozen.

rickn8or said...

And Roberta would purely LOVE to be turned loose to play with it.

"Phooey on you and your megawatt transmitters!"

Joe Huffman said...

"the Z machine propelled small plates at 34 kilometres a second"

I keep thinking of that in terms of muzzle velocities. And instead of Mach numbers it's Escape Velocity multiples.

I don't think we have the mathematics and physics to predict the trajectories for objects moving that fast. I'm not even sure we have the materials technology to build a projectile that can tolerate those kind of velocities in our atmosphere.

The X-Rays could be used as some sort of spaceship weapon... my mind is on overdrive with the possiblities and implications...

Mark said...

*shock*

The Z-Machine is news to you?

Wow.

*wanders back off to HiPER's 200-shot petawatt laser array and Bussard Group's IEC fusor mumbling about young people these days*

Joseph said...

Roberta will likely have built a small scale model in her basement by next week.

Roberta X said...

I lead a sheltered life, Mark. --I did already know about Dr. Bussard's nifty cubes of fusion. If that's worth any points...

Finding the Z Machine was the result of a Wikiwander that started with "Stoff," led through "hydrazine" to a related high explosive, from there to explosive bolts to exploding bridgewire detonators (side trip to Luis Walter Alvarez, one of the brightest guys I ever read of) to slapper detonators to the Trigatron to krytons and then to the Marx Generators and this to the Z machine. --Looking it up just now in reconstructing my path, I found myself drawn to the Pockels cell (the heart of the first laserdisc recorder, btw) and on to Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplification or, as my people refer to it, effin' ray guns!
Wikipedia, free time and an inquiring mind: a dangerous combination. I'm prolly on some new lists now.

reflectoscope said...

I do believe I have been down that very same wiki path. EBWs are good times, reliable and inherently HERO-safe.

Jim