Most particle accelerators have been built to perform certain predesignated tasks, sometimes to assist physicists in unfolding nuclear structure or to generate yet a new genus of particles. There is no exception to this convention relative to the special purpose accelerator at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. PHERMEX was designed and built not bv nuclear physicists but by a group whose inherent professional interests lie in fluid dynamics, chemical kinetics, and extreme states of matter. These interests have maintained the rigid objectives and provided the purpose and drive to complete this program successfully. PHERMEX is now operating, performing admirably the tasks for which it was designed. Therefore, perhaps it is time to say more about why this machine was built, how it was built, and what is being done with it today.

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