More exotic research reports
Date: Wednesday, September 28, 2005 @ 21:10:19 GMT
Topic: Science


NUCLEAR SEISMOLOGY. Physicists at the GSI lab in Darmstadt, Germany have discovered a new excited nuclear state, one in which a tide of neutrons swells away from the rest of the nucleus.

Ordinarily, in its unexcited state, a typical atomic nucleus consists of a number of constituent neutrons and protons (collectively known as nucleons) bobbing around inside a roughly spherical shape. However, if struck by a projectile from outside, such as a beam particle supplied by an accelerator, the nucleus can be set to spinning, or it might distend. In one kind of excited mode called a dipole resonance, the protons can move slightly in one direction while the neutrons go the other way.

In another type of excitation, a nucleus might consist of a stable core blob of nucleons surrounded by a surplus complement of one or two neutrons, which constitute a sort of halo around the core (see http://www.aip.org/pnu/2004/split/702-3.html ). In the new GSI experiment, yet another nuclear mode has been observed. The nuclei used, two isotopes of tin, are the most neutron-rich among the heavier nuclei that can be produced at this time. Sn-130 and Sn-132 are so top-heavy with neutrons that they are quite unstable and must be made artificially in the lab. At GSI this is done by shooting a uranium beam at a beryllium target. The U-238 nuclei, agitated by the collision, eventually fission in flight, creating a swarm of more than 1000 types of daughter nuclei, from which the desired tin isotopes can be extracted for study. The tin nuclei are excited when they pass through a secondary target, made of lead. The excited tin states later disintegrate; the debris coming out allows the researchers to reconstruct the turbulent nature of the tin nuclei. The dipole resonance was seen, as expected, but also a new resonance: an excess of neutrons pushing off from the core nucleus. Furthermore, the neutron resonance appears at a lower excitation energy than does the dipole resonance. Team leader Hans Emling (h.emling@gsi.de) says that there was some previous evidence for the existence for the neutron mode in work with lighter nuclei, but not the actual oscillation observed in the present work. (Adrich et al., Physical Review Letters, 23 September 2005.)

(From the PHYSICS NEWS UPDATE
The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News
Number 747 September 28, 2005 by Phillip F. Schewe, Ben Stein)
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PURDUE ENGINEERS CREATE SAFER, MORE EFFICIENT NUCLEAR FUEL, MODEL ITS PERFORMANCE, September 28
Purdue University nuclear engineers have developed an advanced nuclear fuel that could save millions of dollars annually by lasting longer and burning more efficiently than conventional fuels, and researchers also have created a mathematical model to further develop the technology.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6834.html

MATHEMATICS UNITES THE HEAVENS AND THE ATOM, September 28
In recent years, mathematicians have discovered an almost perfect parallel between the motion of spacecraft through the solar system and the motion of atoms in a chemical reaction - a hidden unity that has led to innovative new ways to design space missions.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6827.html

EXPLAIN PHYSICS WITH THE WHOLE INSTEAD OF PARTICLES, September 28
Physicists usually describe the world from the vantage point of its smallest component parts. But quantum theory does not allow itself to be conceptually crammed into such a framework. Instead, in her dissertation at Uppsala University in Sweden, Barbara Piechocinska takes her point of departure in the mathematics of the dynamic whole and finds that time thereby takes on new meaning.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6820.html

'MISSING' DARK MATTER IS REALLY THERE, SAYS HEBREW UNIVERSITY COSMOLOGIST, September 28
A new analysis that refutes challenges to the existence of dark matter in certain galaxies appears in an article published this week in the journal Nature. Leading author of the article is Avishai Dekel, professor of physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6850.html

PHYSICISTS SAY UNIVERSE EVOLUTION FAVORED THREE AND SEVEN DIMENSIONS, September 28
Physicists who work with a concept called string theory envision our universe as an eerie place with at least nine spatial dimensions, six of them hidden from us, perhaps curled up in some way so they are undetectable. The big question is why we experience the universe in only three spatial dimensions instead of four, or six, or nine.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6842.html

FORECASTERS WARN OF MORE MAJOR HURRICANES, September 28
U.S. meteorologists say conditions that spawned hurricanes Rita and Katrina still exist, creating the likelihood of another intense hurricane next month.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6838.html

ARCTIC SEA ICE CONTINUES DECLINE AS TEMPERATURES RISE, September 28
New satellite records monitored by a national team of collaborators show a four-year pattern of extremely low summer sea-ice coverage in the Arctic that continued in September 2005, which may be the result of warming temperatures and earlier spring melting.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6835.html

'BIG BABY' GALAXY FOUND IN NEWBORN UNIVERSE, September 28
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have teamed up to 'weigh' the stars in distant galaxies. One of these galaxies is not only one of the most distant ever seen, but it appears to be unusually massive and mature for its place in the young Universe.
Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news6832.html








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