Want to make a super-earth? Bring on the frikking lasers

A team of physicists have attempted to recreate the internal conditions of a ‘super-Earth’ planet in a lab, by shooting laser beams at iron samples.

Super-Earths are a type of exoplanet. They have a higher mass than Earth, but are not as massive as Uranus and Neptune. The giants are about 15 and 17 times the mass of Earth.

A paper published in Science Advances describes how scientists can study super-Earths practically, by simulating its rocky core. Intense lasers beams were blasted onto two different iron samples. One resembles a closer match to Earth’s core, and the other has higher levels of silicon.

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