A group of Japanese scientists announced Wednesday that they have finally synthesized the elusive element 113, which has been called ununtrium.
If confirmed, the feat would mark the first time Japanese researchers have been first to synthesize an element of the periodic table. It would also be the first time an Asian research team has had the honor of naming an element.
Ununtrium — meaning one-one-three — is the temporary name given to element 113, which can only be created in a laboratory and is extremely unstable. According to the research team, they have been attempting to create the element for more than nine years before finally hitting on the right approach last month.
The team, led by Kosuke Morita of the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science, had been conducting studies at the RIKEN Linear Accelerator, in a suburb of Tokyo called Wako, when they discovered the formula to create the element. The researchers collided zinc, which has 30 protons, with bismuth, which has 83. The result was an atom with 113 protons in its nucleus, the researchers say.
But the new element quickly decayed. Observing the nature of the decay is crucial to proving the identity of the new element. Morita says the decay data indicate that the collision did indeed create a 113-proton element, though the evidence has not yet been peer-reviewed.
A pioneering team from IBM in Zurich has published single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned.
The same team took the first-ever single-molecule image in 2009 and more recently published images of a molecule shaped like the Olympic rings.
The new work opens up the prospect of studying imperfections in the “wonder material” graphene or plotting where electrons go during chemical reactions.
The images are published in Science.
The world’s most accurate clock has neatly shown how right Albert Einstein was 100 years ago, when he proposed that time is a relative concept and the higher you live above sea level the faster you should age.
Einstein’s theory of relativity states that time and space are not as constant as everyday life would suggest. He suggested that the only true constant, the speed of light, meant that time can run faster or slower depending on how high you are, and how fast you are travelling.
Now scientists have demonstrated the true nature of Einstein’s theory for the first time with an incredibly accurate atomic clock that is able to keep time to within one second in about 3.7 billion years – roughly the same length of time that life has existed on Earth.
James Chin-Wen Chou and his colleagues from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, found that when they monitored two such clocks positioned just a foot apart in height above sea level, they found that time really does run more quickly the higher you are – just as Einstein predicted.
“These precise clocks reveal the effects of gravitational pull, so if we position one clock closer to a planet, you also increase the gravitational pull and time actually runs slower than for another, similar clock positioned higher up,” Dr Chou said. “No one has seen such effects before with clocks which is why we wanted to see if these effects are there. We would say our results agree with Einstein’s theory – we weren’t expecting any discrepancies and we didn’t find any,” he explained.
Darpa is showing off a new system that can put out flames using only sound. It’s part of the U.S. defense agency’s “Instant Fire Suppression” program.
The team arranged two speakers either side of a liquid fuel flame to demonstrate how fire can be controlled by amping up an acoustic field. The sound increases air velocity, which then thins the area of the flame where combustion occurs, known as the flame boundary. Once the boundary area is thinned, the flame is easier to extinguish. At the same time, the acoustics are disturbing the pool of fuel and creating higher fuel vaporisation — this widens the flame, thinning it out so it is less concentrated and cool enough to extinguish.
Even better, the sound does not even need to be offensively loud to achieve any of this.
“We have shown that the physics of combustion still has surprises in store for us,” commented Darpa manager Matthew Goodman in a statement. “Perhaps these results will spur new ideas and applications in combustion research.”
See the embedded video at the link; here is a related one:
Walk across water and people may start to think you can work miracles. But dashing atop the surface of certain liquids has an entirely down-to-Earth scientific explanation.
New evidence suggests that the stress of walking across oobleck, a cornstarch-and-water mixture traversed by foot in the video above, compresses it into a solid-like material that can support a person’s weight.
Oobleck is what’s known as a non-Newtonian fluid, a class of relatively common liquids that behave in unexpectedly non-liquid ways. Ketchup, which flows from a bottle yet gathers neatly in a line on your hot dog, is another example. So are paint, toothpaste, and shampoo, each of which will sometimes flow and sometimes take firmer form.
Of all the non-Newtonian fluids, however, oobleck is one of the strangest. If you dip your hand in slowly, it behaves like a normal liquid — but if you move too fast, it forms a solid mass. Teachers and fun-loving college students have long known that you can fill a tub with oobleck and run across without sinking, yet previous scientific explanations for the effect have come up short.
When Peter Higgs first proposed that an invisible field strewn across space gave mass to the building blocks of the universe, the theory was ridiculed by some of the most respected minds of the time.
His first paper was rejected by a journal, while other scientists accused him and his colleagues of failing to grasp the basic principles of physics.
Despite the sleights Prof Higgs, at the time an 34-year-old physicist at Edinburgh University, was convinced his idea was right although he never envisaged being able to prove it.
Yesterday, 48 years on, his radical concept was finally proved correct by an international team of physicists at the Cern laboratory using a £6 billion piece of equipment designed to uncover the secrets of the Universe.
Announcing the latest results from the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, scientists from confirmed they had discovered a new particle bearing all the hallmarks of a Higgs Boson.
Physicists say they have all but proven that the “God particle” exists. They have a footprint and a shadow, and the only thing left is to see for themselves the elusive subatomic particle believed to give all matter in the universe size and shape.
Scientists at the world’s biggest atom smasher plan to announce Wednesday that they have nearly confirmed the primary plank of a theory that could restructure the understanding of why matter has mass, which combines with gravity to give an object weight.
The idea is much like gravity and Isaac Newton’s discovery: It was there all the time before Newton explained it. But now scientists know what it is and can put that knowledge to further use.
The focus of the excitement is the Higgs boson, a subatomic particle long sought by physicists.
Rob Roser, who leads the search for the Higgs boson at the Fermilab in Chicago, said: “Particle physicists have a very high standard for what it takes to be a discovery,” and he thinks it is a hair’s breadth away. Roser compared the results that scientists will announce Wednesday to finding the fossilized imprint of a dinosaur: “You see the footprints and the shadow of the object, but you don’t actually see it.”
One of the biggest debuts in the science world could happen in a matter of weeks: The Higgs boson may finally, really have been discovered.
Ever since tantalizing hints of the Higgs turned up in December at the Large Hadron Collider, scientists there have been busily analyzing the results of their energetic particle collisions to further refine their search.
“The bottom line though is now clear: There’s something there which looks like a Higgs is supposed to look,” wrote mathematician Peter Woit on his blog, Not Even Wrong. According to Woit, there are rumors of new data that would be the most compelling evidence yet for the long-sought Higgs.
The possible news has a number of physics bloggers speculating that LHC scientists will announce the discovery of the Higgs during the International Conference on High Energy Physics, which takes place in Melbourne, Australia, July 4 to 11.
For information about the Higgs boson, see here.
Lenses are a part of everyday life—they help us focus words on a page, the light from stars, and the tiniest details of microorganisms. But making a lens for highly energetic light known as gamma rays had been thought impossible. Now, physicists have created such a lens, and they believe it will open up a new field of gamma-ray optics for medical imaging, detecting illicit nuclear material, and getting rid of nuclear waste.