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The (nuclear) alchemists of Darmstadt and the doubly magic tin-100 nucleus

Posted September 19, 2012 By Kevin Orrman-Rossiter

An international group of researchers announced in the journal Nature that they had succeeded in creating tin-100.   This experiment helps us understand how heavy elements have formed.  A few minutes after the Big Bang the universe contained no other elements than the lightest; hydrogen and helium. We, the objects around us, the Earth and the […]

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The Earth just aged a little bit more

Posted April 12, 2012 By Kevin Orrman-Rossiter
This composite image of the Tycho supernova remnant combines X-ray and infrared observations obtained with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Spitzer Space Telescope, respectively, and the Calar Alto observatory, Spain. It shows the scene more than four centuries after the brilliant star explosion witnessed by Tycho Brahe and other astronomers of that era.  Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO, Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech; Optical: MPIA, Calar Alto, O.Krause et al.

Have you ever had a moment when person responds to you in a way that just makes you feel a little bit older than you did before?  You comment, for example, about a music group to someone, only to be met with that incredulous stare that conveys the message to you that their parents liked […]

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The origins of life: made on Earth or not?

Posted September 8, 2011 By Kevin Orrman-Rossiter

Two recent discoveries have strengthened the hypothesis that life on earth may have originated from organic material seeded by asteroids and meteorites.  The first comes from a new analysis of 12 meteorites and the second of dust from an asteroid.  The case for this has been building since the 1960s when scientists first started analysing […]

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The new alchemists

Posted August 27, 2011 By Kevin Orrman-Rossiter

Alchemy is an ancient tradition, that can be viewed as a protoscience, a precursor to chemistry.  It’s prime objective was to produce the mythical philosopher’s stone, which was said to be capable of turning base metals into gold or silver, and also act as an elixir of life that would confer youth and immortality upon […]

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