New type of nuclear fission discovered

Dec 06, 2010 by Lin Edwards report
The experimental apparatus with which Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann discovered nuclear fission in 1938. Image: Wikipedia.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Nuclear fission, or the splitting of a heavy nucleus, usually results in symmetrical fragments of the same mass. Physicists attribute the few known examples of fission that is asymmetric to the formation in the resultant fragments of "magic" nuclei, which are extremely stable nuclei with all energy levels filled. Now, experiments at the European particle physics laboratory at the Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva in Switzerland have found the isotope mercury-180 splits asymmetrically into ruthenium-100 and krypton-80 rather than the expected zirconium-90.

The of mercury-180 contains 80 protons and 100 neutrons, and symmetrical fission would result in two nuclei of zirconium-90, which contains 40 protons and 50 neutrons. This result was expected to be dominant especially because 50 and 40 are magic and semi-magic numbers respectively, meaning the levels in the nucleus would be completely filled with protons/neutrons.

Andrei Andreyev, of the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley, and colleagues carried out the experiments at the ISOLDE facilities at . These facilities enable physicists to work with pure beams of highly unstable heavy elements and collect their reaction products and analyze them. They began with a beam of the highly unstable thallium-180, which has 81 protons and 99 neutrons, and which decayed primarily by the capture of an electron to convert one of the protons into a , giving the 80 protons and 100 neutrons of mercury-180. This should then theoretically split symmetrically.

Instead, the mercury isotope split into ruthenium-100, with 44 protons and 56 neutrons, and krypton-80, with 36 protons and 44 neutrons. These are isotopes with incompletely filled energy levels.

Asymmetric splitting has been seen previously in isotopes of uranium, which often split into the isotope tin-132 and a smaller fragment. The tin-132 has all in the nucleus filled, with 50 and 82 neutrons, and is an extremely stable isotope. This asymmetric fission was therefore easy to explain, but the new findings cannot be explained in this way, and this is the first time such unexplainable fission has been observed.

The researchers then analyzed the energy requirements for different types of mercury-180 splitting, and found less energy was required for the asymmetric split found experimentally than for the symmetrical split predicted by the theory. Team member Piet Van Duppen of the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, said this may mean other in the same area of the periodic table may also split into asymmetric daughter fragments. Another isotope of has now been tested, and it also split asymmetrically.

The results of the experiments highlight the gap in the scientific knowledge of , which still cannot be fully described in detail some seven decades after the process was discovered. The gap may be filled in as new radioactive beam facilities become available in the next few years, including the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research in Germany and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams in the US.

The experimental results of the experiments are published in Physical Review Letters.

Explore further: First in-situ images of void collapse in explosives

More information: New type of asymmetric fission in proton-rich nuclei, Physical Review Letters, A. N. Andreyev et al. Accepted for publication.

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Bob_Kob
2 / 5 (5) Dec 06, 2010
So what can we do with this? More efficient fission reactors?
JES
2 / 5 (2) Dec 06, 2010
Would be reactors with assymetry...
gwrede
3.7 / 5 (13) Dec 06, 2010
It's amazing that something this primitive is only found out now. One would have thought that in the 70 years since the discovery of fission, scientists would have bombarded every element with at least protons, neutrons, alpha particles and electrons.

Simply being systematic and diligent would have required this. It's just fundamental basic research, for bob's sake. I wonder what other obvious things we have missed so far.
Squirrel
1.3 / 5 (14) Dec 06, 2010
Career inertia keeps science going even where the ore lode has run dry.

The above research offers no particular scientific gain in terms of problem importance though it does generate publications. But people need publications to keep jobs so they lobby for funds in research--I wonder what new areas of research had their funding crowded out by Facilities for Antiproton and Ion Research and t Rare Isotope Beams?
KwasniczJ
1.4 / 5 (19) Dec 06, 2010
...Career inertia keeps science going even where the ore lode has run dry. The above research offers no particular scientific gain in terms of problem importance though it does generate publications. But people need publications to keep jobs so they lobby for funds in research..
It's exactly my opinion, too. It can be demonstrated with ignorance of truly important research, like the cold fusion, room temperature superconductivity, antigravity and/or various ZPE engines. Scientists, physicists in particular changed into army of conservative religious parasites in similar way, like the Holy Church in medieval era.

http://tambourine...ect.html
Nik_2213
3 / 5 (2) Dec 06, 2010
Fascinating !!

Uh, isn't Alpha-emission considered 'fission' ??
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (7) Dec 06, 2010
The question is, whether the collision of beams, i.e. accelerated atoms with target should lead to symmetric fission of target, when impact energy of atoms and various excited states of atom nuclei are involved. Pure symmetric collisions are rare. Half-life of mercury 180 can be affected with unexpected stability of some unknown excited state. Such experiments could indicate potential for gamma ray weapons. Isn't one of most profane materials of this category called a "red-mercury"?
david_42
4.8 / 5 (12) Dec 06, 2010
These are not due to collisions, injection of particles, etc. The fissions seen are occurring in atoms with half-lives on the order of seconds. Just building pure beams of these isotopes is difficult. As far as the energy calculations go, only within the last few years has the computer power been financially viable for research of this type.

With thousands of possible isotopes to review, this isn't simple, fast or cheap.

TabulaMentis
2 / 5 (5) Dec 06, 2010
An interesting story to feed the craving for mind candy. Everybody seems to be upbeat about this story. I just wonder when we are going to figure out what energy our brain operates on so I can scan my head and upload my memory into a computer hard drive for safe keeping and reuse.
dtxx
3.8 / 5 (12) Dec 06, 2010
...Career inertia keeps science going even where the ore lode has run dry...
It's exactly my opinion, too. It can be demonstrated with ignorance of truly important research, like the cold fusion, room temperature superconductivity, antigravity and/or various ZPE engines. Scientists, physicists in particular changed into army of conservative religious parasites in similar way, like the Holy Church in medieval era.


I fail to see how increasing our understanding of fundamental particle behavior will be anything but a boon to those other areas of research you mentioned. But I digress... antigravity research currently needs funding? Really? There's so much we don't even know about the non-anti one, and it's so much easier to test.
MaxwellsDemon
5 / 5 (12) Dec 06, 2010
A lot of people seem to assume that we already have a complete nuclear structure theory, but these experiments prove otherwise. For starters, it looks like the "magic numbers" aren't always so magical after all - because some isotopes exhibit another form of structural stability that supercedes them. Thorough mapping of these asymmetrical fissions and their corresponding energy levels should clarify the nature of this new structural binding mechanism.

We've had to live with a "semi-empirical" nuclear mass formula for several decades, maybe soon we'll finally arrive at a fully empirical model - and with it, a powerful new understanding of nuclear chemistry.

It's difficult to anticipate how that knowledge will impact our society with any precision at this point, but it's a step toward achieving a new level of mastery over nuclear transmutations that could impact everything from the impending energy crisis, to medical applications, to long-range spaceflight capabilities.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (9) Dec 06, 2010
.. antigravity research currently needs funding? Really?
Actually gravitational waves detectors are quite expensive with compare to cold fusion or antigravity research. And it has immediate applications with compare to asymmetric fission of mercury.
There's so much we don't even know about the non-anti one, and it's so much easier to test.
Just because of it. We should research the areas, which are promising practical applications first, not because they're easier to research for someone. The science is supposed to serve the society, not the comfortable life of close group of scientists - or it will change into sectarian stuff.
KBK
1.3 / 5 (14) Dec 06, 2010
uh-huh.

So they discovered some of the secrets of alchemy. The alchemists knew the use of what they have, but never bothered to give it a scientific label as this group did and does.

They simply used the innovations. Powerfully so. It just goes to show you that it may take modern 'science' to label something, but it only takes a smart man with original thinking ad primitive tools in order to get to what we even today, would call 'astounding science'.
thermodynamics
5 / 5 (14) Dec 06, 2010
I am going to start with just one of the suggestions above to try to explain why some of the research is being pursued in a methodical manner that leaves your pet projects out. Let me go into anti-gravity (which I would love to see). First, there are a few dozen teams that are looking at the fundamentals of gravity to see if they can come up with a theory of gravity that lets anti-gravity fit. Second, where do you suggest they start the search? We, presently, don't know enough about gravity to know where to look for anti-gravity. Do you suggest that scientists just start performing random experiments to see if something falls up instead of down? The idea of combining gravity with quantum mechanics in a TOE (theory of everything) gets a lot of funding and might point the way towards anti-gravity. However, no one knows where to look so understanding gravity better is the best way to find some path to anti-gravity. Not, just producing experiments without foundation.
Nik_2213
5 / 5 (4) Dec 06, 2010
"..looks like the "magic numbers" aren't always so magical after all."

Good point: IIRC, there's some work, not yet repeated, that suggests there may be 'higher order' effects...

http://technology...p1=Blogs
quote:
Roentgenium-111 shouldn't exist on Earth. Now a group of nuclear physicists claims to have found an ultra-stable version of it in gold.
...
It's fair to say that his claim to have found element 122 in thorium is disputed and not yet entirely accepted by the majority of his colleagues.
...
The discovery of roentgenium in gold is almost certain to trigger a similar response. So it'll be interesting to see now whether anybody can repeat this result.
/quote.
Parsec
4.7 / 5 (14) Dec 06, 2010
uh-huh.

So they discovered some of the secrets of alchemy. The alchemists knew the use of what they have, but never bothered to give it a scientific label as this group did and does.

They simply used the innovations. Powerfully so. It just goes to show you that it may take modern 'science' to label something, but it only takes a smart man with original thinking ad primitive tools in order to get to what we even today, would call 'astounding science'.

KBK - Did you read the article? Do you know what an accelerator is? We have been creating gold and other types of elemental transformations for decades now. The idea that this is something that people in laboratories could have done hundreds of years ago is ludicrous.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.6 / 5 (8) Dec 06, 2010
Just because of it. We should research the areas, which are promising practical applications first, not because they're easier to research for someone. The science is supposed to serve the society, not the comfortable life of close group of scientists - or it will change into sectarian stuff.
Without particle physics, there'd be no PET scanners, MRI's, etc.

The theorists discover something about the world, then the engineers build something useful with it. Welcome to reality, it's a team effort, which first requires information. These guys get the information. Until you've built something with it, get to work.
KwasniczJ
1.2 / 5 (9) Dec 06, 2010
..The idea that this is something that people in laboratories could have done hundreds of years ago is ludicrous..
If could fusion is real, the some other low energy nuclear reactions could became real as well.

http://www.scienc...0u19.htm

.Without particle physics, there'd be no PET scanners, MRI's, etc..
No particle, revealed in accelerators had ever some practical usage during last seventy years, so it's probable, it will not get usage during next fifty years. The devices like PET scanners, MRI are independent to collider research. The world became too poor to even reproduce some historical achievments, like the managed flight to Moon. We simply have no money to sponsor blind collider research, which is remnant of cold war era.
KwasniczJ
1.4 / 5 (10) Dec 06, 2010
t. Welcome to reality, it's a team effort, which first requires information. These guys get the information..
We have lot of informations for to live comfortably, we could construct nuclear powered flying automobiles, we could visit Mars and Moon regularly, etc.. But we have no money & resources, thanks to adventurous war research and arms race. We have sufficient knowledge & power to destroy the life at Earth immediately, thanks to our overgrown research - but we have no money to save it. The findings of scientists are therefore useless for engineers, because we have not enough money for their applications.
jmlvu
1 / 5 (5) Dec 06, 2010
I suspect that certain media savy scientists hog all the money and don't share time on accelerators.
Has anyone done a study of the progress of partical physic and which discoveries could have been made decades before they actually occured if time and money had been directed corrctly.
For instance the big bang inflation theory could have happened decades before it did. The radiation from the big bang could have been discovered years before it had if someone had build a detector for it.
shavera
4 / 5 (10) Dec 06, 2010
@KwasniczJ cold fusion has never been confirmed in a repeatable experiment. Given everything we know about the electromagnetic and strong forces (discoveries done in the 'pure' science vein you're so quick to dismiss) we know that cold fusion is EXCEEDINGLY unlikely. Throwing any amount of money or talent at it is just an absolute waste. If we can find some new properties of QED or QCD, then perhaps we can make cold fusion a reality. But those discoveries are pure science first.
shavera
5 / 5 (8) Dec 06, 2010
@imlvu: Ah, the beauty of perfect hindsight. If we'd known we were being bathed in microwave radiation, perhaps we could have built a detector to find it. As it stands every detector we build now is painstakingly developed to answer specific questions. What are the properties of physics that give obects mass? How does the strong nuclear force behave in hot, dense media?
Accelerators aren't like telescopes, there is no "time" on a collider. We run the collider for as long as we have money, and any scientist working on the project gets to look at the data generated. The 'media savy' scientists probably just have more money for more grad students ;)
lexington
4.9 / 5 (7) Dec 06, 2010
PET scanners, MRIs and X-ray machines are very dependent on pure research. Not understanding the properties of antimatter makes the first impossible, not understanding the properties of molecules makes the second impossible and the third actually uses a little particle accelerator in order to work. Not to mention that the original TV screen was built using particle accelerators.
soulman
2.1 / 5 (7) Dec 07, 2010
PET scanners, MRIs and X-ray machines are very dependent on pure research. Not understanding the properties of antimatter makes the first impossible, not understanding the properties of molecules makes the second impossible and the third actually uses a little particle accelerator in order to work. Not to mention that the original TV screen was built using particle accelerators.

Although X-rays were discovered through a natural mechanism.
wwqq
5 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
"Nuclear fission, or the splitting of a heavy nucleus, usually results in symmetrical fragments of the same mass."

This is wrong. Fission of U-233, U-235 and Pu-239, the major isotopes suitable as nuclear fuel, results in two unequal fission products.

http://upload.wik...ield.svg
Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) Dec 07, 2010
No particle, revealed in accelerators had ever some practical usage during last seventy years, so it's probable, it will not get usage during next fifty years. The devices like PET scanners, MRI are independent to collider research.
You do know that a PET scanner is a Positron Emission Tomography device, correct? That would be a particle we observed in and only in particle colliders.
The findings of scientists are therefore useless for engineers, because we have not enough money for their applications.
Moronic.
soulman
3.8 / 5 (13) Dec 07, 2010
You do know that a PET scanner is a Positron Emission Tomography device, correct? That would be a particle we observed in and only in particle colliders.

Not quite. The particle was theoretically predicted by Dirac (or at least it came out of the Dirac equation) and was confirmed by observing cosmic rays with a cloud chamber.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Dec 07, 2010
Asymmetric splitting has been seen previously in isotopes of uranium, which often split into the isotope tin-132 and a smaller fragment. The tin-132 has all energy levels in the nucleus filled, with 50 protons and 82 neutrons, and is an extremely stable isotope.
They are aware of that. As you can see in the above quote from the same article.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Dec 07, 2010
You do know that a PET scanner is a Positron Emission Tomography device, correct? That would be a particle we observed in and only in particle colliders.

Not quite. The particle was theoretically predicted by Dirac (or at least it came out of the Dirac equation) and was confirmed by observing cosmic rays with a cloud chamber.

You are quite right, my mistake. Anderson did use a cloud chamber in 33.

I don't consider the theoretical discovery to be the discovery. If that was the case then we would already be saying we had discovered the Higgs Boson. Dirac also thought it was the proton at first that would be the positive electron, Oppenheimer had to discourage him to get the real theory out of him.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (9) Dec 07, 2010
@Skeptic_Heretic: I know exactly, which particle was revealed in colliders and which not and which has some practical usage and which not. These two groups do not overlap. Collider research has been a subject of militaristic importance during the cold war years - which is why it's so advanced by now, despite we have no usage for it. After Soviet Union collapsed, the US government scratched the project of SSC immediately - which I personally consider a wise decision.
shavera
5 / 5 (10) Dec 07, 2010
@ KwasniczJ but you're still missing the point of the whole research. New particles are only a very small study within the field of high energy physics. Ultimately we'd like to know how the forces in our universe work. You keep demanding we begin investing in fusion or anti-gravity. Well we need to understand how the Strong Nuclear Force works to develop better fusion techniques. We need to understand how the forces of this universe work with gravity to even begin to develop any form of anti-gravity.
Essentially, most of the low-hanging fruit from electromagnetism, mechanics, and early quantum mechanics has been plucked. Until more 'pure' science is known we can't progress to the challenging engineering topics you wish we could make.
ADent
4 / 5 (1) Dec 07, 2010
This article says Tin-132 is "an extremely stable isotope". The other articles on this site state Tin-132 has a half life of 4 seconds.

Is 4 seconds considered "extremely stable" in this instance, or is that a typo?
Ethelred
2 / 5 (1) Dec 08, 2010
In their area of study microseconds is stable. Standard weight for Tin 118.7 and is stable up through 124. It has a LOT of isotopes.

And calling this stuff 'stable' seems weird to me also.

http://www.ptable.com/

Ohh there is a neat video on this site for tin.

http://www.chemic...tin.html

A block metallic tin with 'tin pest' it looks like some bizarre disease as the block expands, fractures, and turn gray.

Ethelred
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2010
.. we need to understand how the Strong Nuclear Force works to develop better fusion techniques. We need to understand how the forces of this universe work with gravity to even begin to develop any form of anti-gravity...
This is just a pretence. Actually there are many effective theories of these forces and gravity (Heim's theory), which are much more successful in both prediction of exact numeric values, bot new testable concepts.

Why these ideas & theories aren't considered? Because it would A) render the whole mainstream physics incompetent B) most of theorist would lose their jobs immediately. This stance of mainstream physics is so apparent, their most influential proponents are even not trying to hide it.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2010
Everyone who is still believing in the innocence of mainstream physics should read the excerpt of the president of APS Prof. Dr. Robert Wilson, which appeared in Physics Today in 1984:

"Just suppose.. that some smart aleck came up with a simple self-evident, closed theory of everything. I---and so many others---have had a perfectly wonderful life pursuing the will-o'-the-wisp of unification. I have dreamed of my children, their children and their children's children all having this same beautiful experience.

All that would end.

APS membership would drop precipitously. Fellow members, could we afford this catastrophe? We must prepare a crisis-management plan for this eventuality, however remote. First we must voice a hearty denial. Then we should ostracize the culprit and hold up for years any publication by the use of our well-practiced referees. Just to be safe, we should put the paper on our Index---I mean in our index--- where it can be lost for centuries..."
Ethelred
5 / 5 (6) Dec 08, 2010
On June 30, 2010 The Zephyr SockPuppet, Jigga, posted the EXACT SAME POST. Thus making it quite clear that KwasniczJ is lying when he claims he has never posted under any other name.

In both cases neither Sockpuppet showed the slightest sign of know Dr. Wilson was telling a joke.

The post seems to based on one by AKT a few days earlier here:
http://www.techre...v/25376/

And ZephirAWT was on the thread. And AKT said this about the AWITSBS site the Zephyr pushed

I am a professionaly trained scientist with long experience in profrssional scieitific activities. I am not interested in anythinbg less than that. I do not appreciate indoctoriantion.

What you wote in your website is not scieitific document.
So I guess that AKT is not engaging in another Zephyr fake discussion. Though it does some to be two guys Cranking away.

AKT also seems to unclear on the concept of humor.

Ethelred
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (8) Dec 08, 2010
...In both cases neither Sockpuppet showed the slightest sign of know Dr. Wilson was telling a joke...
Prof. R. Wilson published it in peer-reviewed journal Physics Today. If you believe, this journal is publishing jokes, it's your job to prove it, not mine...
shavera
5 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
KwasniczJ: if you want to believe in some sort of secret cabal in physics, there's no way I can convince you otherwise. Get yourself a PhD in physics and you'll easily see that's not the case. Heim's theory, for instance, makes extraordinary claims about the nature of space-time. The theory will need to do more than retro-dict the masses of known particles. We'll need to observe new particles that match predicted values from that theory that could come from no other theory. That's how science works.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (8) Dec 08, 2010
If you believe, this journal is publishing jokes, it's your job to prove it, not mine...
The speech itself is adequate proof Zephyr. Only a person in need of a humor transplant could take it seriously.

First assume a spherical chicken of uniform density.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (7) Dec 08, 2010
...In both cases neither Sockpuppet showed the slightest sign of know Dr. Wilson was telling a joke...
Prof. R. Wilson published it in peer-reviewed journal Physics Today. If you believe, this journal is publishing jokes, it's your job to prove it, not mine...

Professor Wilson was also rather vigorously attacked for subverting the process to have that quotation added to the journal. Perhaps you should actually learn about the snippets of quotation that you spew upon every physics forum once you've been rated on the crackpot scale.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (7) Dec 08, 2010
..Only a person in need of a humor transplant could take it seriously...
Wilson was head of Manhattan project, he separated the uranium in top secret factories, he was head of Fermilab - he conducted military research with rather unlimited influence to censorship and access to budget. He simply applied the rules, which he had applied to most his projects during whole his life.
Professor Wilson was also rather vigorously attacked for subverting the process to have that quotation added to the journal.
I dunno why, if he apparently joked only...;-) Actually he wasn't attacked and he didn't joke - until you provide linked evidence. The rest of your comments are just a silly speculations.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (7) Dec 08, 2010
What Wilson actually thought about all of it and what the mainstream science stance is we can learn from this source:

http://users.navi...arce.txt
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
..The theory will need to do more than retro-dict the masses of known particles. We'll need to observe new particles that match predicted values from that theory that could come from no other theory...
We actually don't need anything like that. We should make the Earth safe and pleasant place for life first. Scientists are expected to help us with it. If they're not willing to collaborate with the rest of society about it, or if they're even trying to threat it with their experiments, then such scientists aren't supposed to live between us anymore.
shavera
5 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2010
Let's suppose your premise. One cranky scientist, even a respected one claims that if a unified theory was discovered, physics would disappear. So let's keep the truth hidden from everyone to make sure we keep getting funding.
So in all these years not ONE person has let slip the truth? In all these years we definitively knew of a more unified field of physics, and not ONE person in a moment of egotism used that unified physics to win themselves a nobel prize? To solve some deep unresolved issue of science? Balderdash. Complete nonsense the things you're supposing.
Science is slow. Sorry. It is. It takes time to gather evidence to support claims. It takes thousands of scientists, postdocs, grad students year-round work for years on end to come up with even tiny advances anymore. The simple days of a lone scientist discovering something significant are gone.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Dec 08, 2010
Nowhere is what Wilson thought about it. What there is the ranting of another crank. NOTHING from Wilson about the speech. Just a Crank Cranking away.

Ethelred
shavera
5 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2010
Furthermore, I'm not in physics for the money. Not by a long shot. I truly and deeply want to know how the universe works. It's why I do fundamental physics and not something I can roll into some industry job (superconductors, e.g.) Enough of my colleagues are in the same boat that there's no way a true theory, however crack-potted would escape. We discuss many of them regularly, but the fact is that they either have significant flaws, lack of explanatory power, or lack of predictive power. Most are just wild conjectures that work to describe what we know now, but little else.
shavera
5 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2010

I posit that it is you, and others like you, who are the truly dogmatic. So convinced are you of your beliefs in a secretive world of scientists that you will buy into any exotic theory so long as it damages the reputation of scientists. You are the one who will refuse to hear evidence to the contrary of your favored theories. Before you point out the speck in your neighbor's eye, perhaps consider removing the log from your own.
KwasniczJ
Dec 08, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
The psychosocial problem is, the overpopulation of theorists is an apparent issue for laymans, who are paying it - but not for theorists, who do care about continuity of their jobs - so they're not very motivated in mutual reconciliation of their theories. The more theories, the more theorists will be required for their maintenance, the more grants and money.. - well, why just theorists should fight against such situation? And we shouldn't forget the professional rivalry of theorists - every new general theory would make existing theories (...and their proponents, indeed) less or more insignificant undoubtedly.

This problem with theorists is therefore not so theoretical at all, as recent Wilson memo indicates clearly: the theorists will ignore existence of more general theory obstinately, if it could threat their existence at least a bit. The similarity with medieval approach of Holy Church is apparent here: the physicists became real enemies of further evolution of understanding.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2010
Statistical evidence, that science turns authoritarian
http://www.americ...ritarian
http://www.guardi...-science

Why experts are usually wrong? Because they're trained to think in biased, i.e. specialized way.
http://www.nypost...QJHmT5QO

Is "publish or perish" biasing science toward gradualism?
http://arstechnic...ence.ars

The corruption of science?
http://news.bbc.c...0481.stm

We Must Stop the Avalanche of Low-Quality Research The main cause: the growth in the number of researchers.
http://chronicle....f/65890/

Scientists, you are fallible. Get off the pedestal and join the common herd
http://www.guardi...question
shavera
5 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
But look at your quote about the dense aether theory that you throw around as if you've uncovered some ancient mystical knowledge. "All space is filled with equally dense material..." Prove it. "Gold only fills... such a big mass" Easily explainable via quantum mechanics, says ABSOLUTELY nothing about some dense 'aether.' There's a reason this theory died out a long time ago, better explanations with more predictive power that better fit the data came along.
shavera
5 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
Everything you post desires so badly to show how scientists are greedy, insular, and ultimately stupid. You demand that theorists work like -this- because that fits your theory of theorists. But you ultimately display your ignorance of the profession. A few articles by jounralists studying scientists isn't a sufficient condemnation. A crank scientist or two isn't a sufficient condemnation. They're insufficient to me because I'm there, in the field, seeing the behaviour of scientists for myself. I put in my time and worked hard for my education in the field to gain a true understanding of the world rather than just reading the speculations of the 1680's.
shavera
5 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
Even as we speak there's a big discussion in the 'real' physics community about changes to/elimination of perturbative QCD as a means of describing the strong force. Why? Because even though it's been a leading theoretical model for a while, it can't describe all the data we're observing. We're looking at alternatives that fit the data; some are models that borrow their math from string theory. Science is a slow, evolving process. We don't just generate theories randomly for the sake of theories. We generate ones that describe the data, that make sense of our world. It's careful and methodical, and old theories pass as new ones describe new realms. It's much more honest than you give it credit for.
KwasniczJ
Dec 08, 2010
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KwasniczJ
Dec 08, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (9) Dec 08, 2010
..Science is a slow, evolving process....
Well, maybe too slow for the current needs of the rest of society. I can say easily, everything, even Holy Church is evolving. It even admits Big Bang model by now.. and so what about? The speed of this evolution is the point, which we are disputing by now, not the evolution itself.

When the speed of energy spreading isn't sufficient anymore inside of condensing cluster of molecules, the so-called spontaneous symmetry breaking occurs: a new space-time gradients will emerge under formation of newly created droplets of new phase.

We can observe, when the speed of scientific method isn't sufficient to follow the speed of society evolution, new theories are starting to emerge (condense) outside of mainstream. These droplets are still sparse and separated, but they could merge into continuous phase anytime. I'm working on it purposefully with gradual reconciliation of existing theories with simple unifying principle.
shavera
5 / 5 (11) Dec 08, 2010
Epicycles were abandoned because Newton's universal gravitation explained both the motion of the planets "falling" around the sun and apples falling to the earth. Gravity was in turn replaced by General Relativity because GR described both the motion of Newton's gravity and corrections like Mercury's orbit. I go into detail because this fundamentally describes how science works. We select theories as being 'better' because they answer more questions than the old theories.
Similarly, Planck quantized black body radiation, which was later described by Quantum Mechanics, which will probably receive an upgraded explanation in the future. We're by no means done learning.

As for dense aether I think you've already said why it can't work ;) Explain why the observer has a special role in the universe. Explain how that special role in the universe works. You've just made a series of unfounded presumptions and followed them to their illogical conclusion.
shavera
5 / 5 (11) Dec 08, 2010
It's difficult to comment on your social speculations, as they're just that, so I'll stick with your scientific ones. Yes I'm well versed in the schwarzchild metric: However, even within your own sentence you can see you've got it wrong. When an amount of mass is within a certain region, that mass necessarily becomes a black hole. The mass outside of that region, however couldn't care less. The stars of the galaxy don't make the black hole at its center. They can of course orbit it if sufficiently close, and fall into it and contribute if even closer, but out where we are, the gravitational pull of the black hole is absolutely negligible. If it was to disappear this instant, we wouldn't even know about it for another 26,000 years.
KwasniczJ
1 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
When an amount of mass is within a certain region, that mass necessarily becomes a black hole.
The trick is, Schwarzschild's model is steady state, it doesn't say, how fast the formation of black hole should occur.
The stars of the galaxy don't make the black hole at its center.
Prove it - Schwartzchild's formula is quite explicit about it. Actually we can observe, black holes are formed only inside of stellar groups of certain minimal size.
..I think you've already said why it can't work ;) ..
Don't think please, prove it.
shavera
5 / 5 (10) Dec 08, 2010
1) you're right, the Schwarzchild solution is a steady-state one and there isn't a known description that deals with non-equilibrium solutions. Could you be more specific what the argument for time-scale is though?
2) No, the Schwarzchild metric is a solution for a single, non-rotating spherical body of uniform density. It has absolutely nothing to do with outside bodies. In fact it's well known that outside bodies can only be treated as perturbations to the single barycenter object.
3) my following statements were the "proof." You explicitly postulate that the observer is a special role in the universe without any backing evidence. it's an unfounded postulate with no alternative support.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (7) Dec 08, 2010
Maybe Bob Wilson, who acted as a censor and ignored dense aether model has been just a single sinful exception.
And now we get to the heart of your hatred of modern physics. The aether....

Prove it exists.
KwasniczJ
Dec 08, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
shavera
5 / 5 (8) Dec 08, 2010
Aether density is defined with density of its observer. I presume, the number/ density of observable states correspond the number of states forming the observer.


You're confusing the meanings associated with Observer and Observable. Observable merely means the set of space-time events that fall within the past light cone of some other event in space-time. There need not be an observer there at all.

There is no justification behind the claim that the conscious/rational observer occupies a 'special' role in the universe.
shavera
5 / 5 (8) Dec 08, 2010
Secondly:
if the black hole is large enough
for sufficiently large black holes, we treat orbiting bodies as infinitesimal perturbations. i.e. External bodies have no influence on the schwarzchild metric of the black hole in any way. The metric only contains terms of the mass of the black hole itself, NOT of any exterior stars.
Finally: string theorists are free to postulate strings all they'd like. Until they produce some evidence, I have no reason to believe in their existence. Unlike the big bang postulation which has a wealth of evidence to support its existence.
dtxx
4.4 / 5 (7) Dec 09, 2010

The existence of aether is a postulate, not a theorem of aether theory. Analogously, we don't know, whether strings exists - but we can assume so,...


Oh boy, where to start with this?

Existense of phlogiston is postulate of phlogiston theory. Does that convince you to believe in phlogiston? How about if I say the ghost postulate is the basis of my ghost theory, so you must believe it? Yes, postulates are ultimate truths within the context of the theory they underpin. That does not mean they are true at all with regards to reality.
Husky
5 / 5 (2) Dec 10, 2010
postulates are as much worth as the postman that delivers them
Husky
not rated yet Dec 10, 2010
I can make an interesting theory pertaining the granular dynamics of swiss cheese mountains on the moon if i postulate the moon is made out of swiss cheese, the awesome postulations and predictions of Dirac, antimatter particles however directly follow out of his calculations on the scientiffically observed behaviour of matter and energy, not the other way around! Given the lower tec level of lab equipment in his time we can only conclude he was pure genius postman
CarolinaScotsman
5 / 5 (5) Dec 11, 2010
Career inertia keeps science going even where the ore lode has run dry.

The above research offers no particular scientific gain in terms of problem importance though it does generate publications. But people need publications to keep jobs so they lobby for funds in research

The world is made up of the four elements of fire, water, earth and air. Aristotle said so and that makes all research useless and without purpose.

When will people understand that pure science research is how we begin to understand our world and the posibilities we have to use it to our advantage without destroying it?
Husky
1.3 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2010
I am beginning to see KwasniczJ point, that western science has become a solution in search of a problem, too many armchair scientists for the sake of keeping your comfy armchair funded with esoteric theory, just like the news nowadays is not only reported, but sometimes created, well maybe we have to look at china were science is driven by engineers, solving its growing pains....
Husky
not rated yet Dec 11, 2010
so, what essentially lacks is political leadership to adress and prioritise hard problems that after being solved would majorly advance the wellbeing of citizens in terms of economics, longivety etc, would need to work on first in turn for their funding, however politics just like some science has also turned into a selvserving industry, thats about keeping seats occupied by serving lobbies instead of the people, viva la revolucion???
Husky
not rated yet Dec 11, 2010
later on we can all happily conclude that aether was real after all (or not), but knowing that was not that important as knowing how to deal with global food/energy problems.
Quantum_Conundrum
2.8 / 5 (4) Dec 11, 2010
later on we can all happily conclude that aether was real after all (or not), but knowing that was not that important as knowing how to deal with global food/energy problems.


We could easily deal with food problems if more people actually worked in farming and production jobs instead of working in the false economy stock market and other paperwork jobs.

We have plenty of fertile land in the U.S. that has hardly even been touched.

Additionally, we could be far more productive if a higher number of farms would convert to greenhouses or hydro/aeroponics whenever and where ever possible.
nick_bree
5 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2010

I would like to comment on a few of the previous posts.
Indeed, asymmetric fission, i.e. the process of a mother nucleus undergoing fission resulting in two nuclei with different mass, is a common phenomenon when one of the fission products is characterized by nuclear magicity. As an example, heavy elements (like 236U) split asymmetrically. But in those cases one of the fragments is lying in the vicinity of 132Sn, which is a doubly magic nucleus. For elements lighter than uranium the influence of the structure of 132Sn is less pronounced and the fission occurs symmetrically.

The term ‘magicity’ reflects here the complete filling of nuclear orbitals by protons and/or neutrons. This does not mean (e.g. 132Sn) that the resulting nucleus is stable against beta decay, but it has other features, like a strong binding energy of the nucleons.
nick_bree
5 / 5 (1) Dec 13, 2010
I would like to comment on a few of the previous posts.
Indeed, asymmetric fission, i.e. the process of a mother nucleus undergoing fission resulting in two nuclei with different mass, is a common phenomenon when one of the fission products is characterized by nuclear magicity. As an example, heavy elements (like 236U) split asymmetrically. But in those cases one of the fragments is lying in the vicinity of 132Sn, which is a doubly magic nucleus. For elements lighter than uranium the influence of the structure of 132Sn is less pronounced and the fission occurs symmetrically.
The term ‘magicity’ reflects here the complete filling of nuclear orbitals by protons and/or neutrons. This does not mean (e.g. 132Sn) that the resulting nucleus is stable against beta decay, but it has other features, like a strong binding energy of the nucleons.
NickBree
5 / 5 (5) Dec 13, 2010
I would like to comment on a few of the previous posts.
Indeed, asymmetric fission, i.e. the process of a mother nucleus undergoing fission resulting in two nuclei with different mass, is a common phenomenon when one of the fission products is characterized by nuclear magicity. As an example, heavy elements (like 236U) split asymmetrically. But in those cases one of the fragments is lying in the vicinity of 132Sn, which is a doubly magic nucleus. For elements lighter than uranium the influence of the structure of 132Sn is less pronounced and the fission occurs symmetrically.
The term ‘magicity’ reflects here the complete filling of nuclear orbitals by protons and/or neutrons. This does not mean (e.g. 132Sn) that the resulting nucleus is stable against beta decay, but it has other features, like a strong binding energy of the nucleons.
NickBree
5 / 5 (6) Dec 13, 2010
However, in the case of 180Hg it was expected that fission would be symmetric as well, as 180Hg can be broken up into two 90Zr fragments, which have 40 protons and 50 neutrons: 2 "magic" numbers. The observed asymmetry of the fission (100Ru and 80Kr) is hence surprising as neither neutrons nor protons are in closed nuclear orbitals.

The reason why this is only discovered now, lies in the very exotic nature of 180Hg. It is far away from the valley of stable nuclei, and the production cross section is low. It is also very short-lived, so it is necessary to guide the nuclei to the experimental set-up in a very short time.

Posted by Nick Bree, co-author
Ethelred
4.7 / 5 (3) Dec 13, 2010
It takes a few moments for your posts to show up. As the threads get longer that time also gets longer till eventually it you have to force a refresh to the see that the post has indeed gone online. What I do is keep a tab open to my profile and after hitting the submit button I switch over to my profile's activity page and then refresh it to see if the new post shows up. The I Control-click on the link to get a fresh copy of the page. I only resubmit if it becomes clear that the post is not going to show.

Ethelred
geniusW
1 / 5 (3) Dec 13, 2010
Let's fission mercury so it doesn't bioaccumulate and become methyl mercury! Uranium is not so toxic as mercury, so lets use something toxic to begin with that we can reduce in the environment...
jan_diriken
5 / 5 (6) Dec 13, 2010
In response to the last comment of Nick Bree, I would also like to add that not only the small production rate (150 180Tl atoms/sec were implanted into the carbon foils), but also the small probability of beta-delayed fission (in this case: 3.6 E-3 %) should be considered. Hence, both efficient production of the isotopes of interest and detection of the fission fragments are necessary. It is mostly long-term experience of researches and engineers that leads to advances in these two areas, enabling us to measure low probability events that are important to increase our knowledge on the fundaments of nature.

Posted by Jan Diriken (co-author)
jan_diriken
5 / 5 (7) Dec 13, 2010
Also a comment on the skeptic reactions including statements like "parasites", "wasting money", ... The choice of this project is a deliberate one. If you think we are spending our time throwing a darts arrow at the chart of nuclei, go down to the lab, spend some time measuring a property of the nucleus you just picked in a random way and finally write a paper about these great discoveries, then I must disappoint you. All projects that are proposed are based on a scientific ground. Besides proposing an experiment, it must also be accepted by a board of senior scientists in order to obtain beam time and perform your experiment.
jan_diriken
5 / 5 (7) Dec 13, 2010
The science motivation for this particular project is clear from the paper itself. And the reason why this is an import result is that it's outcome is in contradiction with predictions of some basic models dealing with nuclear fission. Hence these experimental findings will contribute to get a better understanding of the properties of nuclei, the building blocks of the world around us...

Posted by Jan Diriken (co-author)
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Dec 13, 2010
The science motivation for this particular project is clear from the paper itself. And the reason why this is an import result is that it's outcome is in contradiction with predictions of some basic models dealing with nuclear fission. Hence these experimental findings will contribute to get a better understanding of the properties of nuclei, the building blocks of the world around us...

Posted by Jan Diriken (co-author)
Don't let the posters on this forum get to you, the majority aren't able to ask informed questions and prefer to attempt to shoot down any finding regardless of whether it is important or a confirmation of understood mechanics. Thank you both for taking the time to post here and give us more insight into your work.
Bog_Mire
not rated yet Dec 14, 2010
here here!