ZETA was an early experiment in fusion power research. Built at the
Atomic Energy Research Establishment in England, it was much larger and
more powerful than any other fusion machine at that time. It went into
operation in August 1957, and by the end of the month was giving off
bursts of about a million neutrons per pulse. Measurements suggested
temperatures between 1 and 5 million kelvins, hot enough to produce
nuclear fusion reactions. Early results were leaked to the press, and
front-page headlines announced a breakthrough. Further experiments
revealed measurement errors, and the claim of fusion was publicly
withdrawn, casting a chill over the entire fusion establishment. The
neutrons were later explained as the product of instabilities in the
fuel. ZETA went on to have a long experimental lifetime, supporting work
in plasma theory and originating more accurate laser-based temperature
measurements that supported the tokamak approach a decade later.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZETA_%28fusion_reactor%29>
Today's selected anniversaries:
English colonists from the Province of Carolina and their
native allies began a series of raids against a largely peaceful
population of Apalachee in Spanish Florida.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented the first
Emmy Awards to honor excellence in the American television industry.
A team of Norwegian and American scientists launched a Black
Brant XII sounding rocket, which was mistaken for a Trident missile by
The Day of Anger during the Egyptian revolution began,
eventually leading to the removal of Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years
Wiktionary's word of the day:
A thick soup made of smoked finnan haddock, milk, onions, and potatoes,
a local speciality of Cullen in Moray, Scotland.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Time, unfortunately, though it makes animals and vegetables bloom
and fade with amazing punctuality, has no such simple effect upon the
mind of man. The mind of man, moreover, works with equal strangeness
upon the body of time. An hour, once it lodges in the queer element of
the human spirit, may be stretched to fifty or a hundred times its clock
length; on the other hand, an hour may be accurately represented on the
timepiece of the mind by one second. This extraordinary discrepancy
between time on the clock and time in the mind is less known than it
should be and deserves fuller investigation.
--Orlando: A Biography
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