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Mercury serves up a nuclear surprise - The discovery of a new type of fission turns a...
Nature News ^ | 1 December 2010 | Eugenie Samuel Reich

Posted on 12/04/2010 10:40:33 AM PST by neverdem

The discovery of a new type of fission turns a tenet of nuclear theory on its head.

The observation of an unexpected nuclear reaction by an unstable isotope of the element mercury has thrown up a rare puzzle. The enigma is helping theorists to tackle one of the trickiest problems in physics: developing a more complete model of the atomic nucleus.

Nuclear fission, the process in which a nucleus heavier than that of iron breaks into pieces, is generally observed to be symmetric, with the resulting fragments being roughly equal in size. Although instances of asymmetric fission are known, they are usually attributed to the preferential formation of 'magic' nuclei, in which shells in the nuclear structure are filled to capacity.

So when researchers on the ISOLDE experiment at CERN, Europe's particle-physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, set out to study the decay of mercury-180 — containing 80 protons and 100 neutrons — they expected it to break into two nuclei of zirconium-90, each containing 40 protons and 50 neutrons. They assumed that outcome would be particularly favoured because 40 and 50 are magic numbers for which shells would be exactly filled.

But the mercury dealt a surprise, splitting instead into ruthenium-100 and krypton-80. "A symmetric split should be dominant and we show that it doesn't happen," says ISOLDE member Andrei Andreyev, presently of the University of the West of Scotland in Paisley. The result is in press at Physical Review Letters.

Pure beam

ISOLDE is unique in being able to create pure beams of unstable heavy elements, the reaction products of which can be collected and studied. Andreyev and his colleagues started with a beam of thallium-180. This mostly decayed by capturing an electron, turning one of its 81 protons into a neutron to form mercury-180, which then performed the...

(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: fission; mercury; nuclearfission; physics
The "Article" link at the end of the story is a FReebie.
1 posted on 12/04/2010 10:40:38 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
"a new type of fission"

New? I'm betting it's been around for billions of years.

2 posted on 12/04/2010 10:48:59 AM PST by circlecity
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To: neverdem
Something very fishy about this article. U-235 does NOT asymmetrically fission as evident from the fission decay daughters spectrum, often referred to as the Dolly Parton graph. It s clearly bimodal with respect to periodic number and isotopic mass.
3 posted on 12/04/2010 10:57:02 AM PST by fuente
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To: circlecity
The reason CFL bulbs contain mercury is because each CFL bulb is a miniature nuclear reactor.

(kidding)

4 posted on 12/04/2010 10:57:38 AM PST by ClearCase_guy
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To: neverdem

So...our new mandated light bulbs will be blowing up on us?


5 posted on 12/04/2010 11:00:10 AM PST by ryderann
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To: neverdem

Read for later. Thanks.


6 posted on 12/04/2010 11:03:54 AM PST by ColoCdn (Neco eos omnes, Deus suos agnoset)
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To: neverdem
Andreyev and his colleagues started with a beam of thallium-180. This mostly decayed by capturing an electron, turning one of its 81 protons into a neutron to form mercury-180, which then performed the...

Well no wonder! This ain't real mercury. It's that cheap Swiss stuff, just a little better quality than the made in China brand.

7 posted on 12/04/2010 11:10:15 AM PST by Islander7 (If you want to anger conservatives, lie to them. If you want to anger liberals, tell them the truth.)
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To: circlecity

It is new to us.


8 posted on 12/04/2010 11:11:38 AM PST by jmcenanly ( "We pay a person the compliment of acknowledging his superiority whenever we lie to him." -Samuel)
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To: neverdem

Alpha decay is highly asymmetric, but isn’t called fission. Even though it’s a nucleus splitting into two.


9 posted on 12/04/2010 11:12:59 AM PST by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: neverdem

I think fishing not fission goin’ on he’ah.


10 posted on 12/04/2010 11:13:50 AM PST by bvw
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To: neverdem

They should try the experiment without observing it and see what happens.


11 posted on 12/04/2010 11:28:58 AM PST by mikeandike
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To: neverdem

bookmark


12 posted on 12/04/2010 11:36:06 AM PST by quintr
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To: neverdem

What is the significance of this?


13 posted on 12/04/2010 11:39:09 AM PST by Iron Munro (This is our culture; fight for it. This is our flag; pick it up. This is our country; take it back.)
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To: mikeandike
They should try the experiment without observing it and see what happens.

Correct. Observation is never passive. It always affects outcome. Quantifying observation can only be done by comparison with nonobservation. In a nonobservation environment the outcome cannot be known since it is unobserved. More than a theoretical problem the observer determines the reaction.

14 posted on 12/04/2010 11:45:28 AM PST by Louis Foxwell (The American Revolution is just as unpopular with statists today as it was at our founding.)
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To: jmcenanly
"It is new to us."

As is everything.

Whatever will be
has already been done.
and there is nothing new
under the sun.

15 posted on 12/04/2010 11:50:11 AM PST by circlecity
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To: neverdem; decimon
Krypton-80's-Hits-by-Jor-El-and-the-Ruthenium-100-Orchestra ping.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

16 posted on 12/04/2010 12:20:58 PM PST by The Comedian (Government: Saving people from freedom since time immemorial.)
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To: neverdem

Airport Repairman carries CFL light bulb thru TSA scanner, blows himself up


17 posted on 12/04/2010 12:21:24 PM PST by bunkerhill7
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To: The Comedian

What we really need to know is if the mercury will still turn ibises gay.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2635602/posts


18 posted on 12/04/2010 12:56:49 PM PST by decimon
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To: neverdem

As my friend Milo Price said, “Sometime things just don’t happen the way you think they will”.

Profound, truly profound.


19 posted on 12/04/2010 1:12:03 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: The Comedian
There's a ping list for THAT??!!
20 posted on 12/04/2010 1:13:26 PM PST by starlifter (Pullum sapit)
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To: neverdem
"A symmetric split should be dominant and we show that it doesn't happen,"

May be they accidentally banked off the rail first.

21 posted on 12/04/2010 1:56:32 PM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: starlifter
There's a ping list for THAT??!!

Low volume.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

22 posted on 12/04/2010 2:10:58 PM PST by The Comedian (Government: Saving people from freedom since time immemorial.)
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To: starlifter; The Comedian
There's a ping list for THAT??!!

LOL. One of the oldest on FR. It actually started on stone tablets in JimRob's cave.

23 posted on 12/04/2010 3:52:32 PM PST by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: neverdem
This mostly decayed by capturing an electron, turning one of its 81 protons into a neutron to form mercury-180,This mostly decayed by capturing an electron, turning one of its 81 protons into a neutron to form mercury-180,

Uh, I don't think that's really how it works. From what I recall, you don't "add" an electron to a proton to get neutron. Am I mis-remembering things, or is the reporter as stupid as he sounds?

24 posted on 12/04/2010 3:56:10 PM PST by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: neverdem

The real question here is can we use it to kill muzzies?


25 posted on 12/04/2010 6:05:26 PM PST by Free Vulcan (The battle isn't over. Hold their feet to the fire.)
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To: neverdem

My way of bumping for later

___________________________________________________________________

The future of nuclear is cold fusion.

How I Made Money from Cold Fusion
Saturday, January 23, 2010 12:28:49 PM · by Kevmo · 28 replies · 1,013+ views
Exclusive Article for Free Republic | 1/23/10 | Kevmo
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2435697/posts

Re-Analysis of the Marinov Light-Speed Anisotropy Experiment
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2270920/posts
Friday, June 12, 2009 11:25:41 PM · by Kevmo · 27 replies · 1,027+ views
http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/physics/pdf/0612/0612201v2.pdf ^ | Reginald T. Cahill

The Suppression of Inconvenient Facts in Physics
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2266921/posts
Sunday, June 07, 2009 7:50:26 PM · by Kevmo · 78 replies · 1,626+ views Suppressed Science.Net ^ | 12/06/08 | http://www.suppressedscience.net/

The End of Snide Remarks Against Cold Fusion
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2265914/posts
Friday, June 05, 2009 5:56:08 PM · by Kevmo · 95 replies · 1,770+ views
Free Republic, Gravitronics.net and Intrade ^ | 6/5/09 | kevmo, et al

‘Cold Fusion’ Rebirth? New Evidence For Existence Of Controversial Energy Source
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2212864/posts
Monday, March 23, 2009 12:42:14 PM · by FlameThrower · 35 replies · 1,586+ views
Science Daily ^ | Mar. 23, 2009 | American Chemical Society

___________________________________________________________________


26 posted on 12/04/2010 10:10:39 PM PST by Kevmo (Turning the Party over to the so-called moderates wouldn't make any sense at all. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: mikeandike
"They should try the experiment without observing it and see what happens."

The sound of one hand clapping.

27 posted on 12/05/2010 6:56:37 AM PST by HangThemHigh (Entropy's not what it used to be.)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Pattern of drinking affects the relation of alcohol intake to coronary heart disease

Obesity Surgery May Become Option for Many More

The Curious Case of the Backwardly Aging Mouse

Study reveals new possibility of reversing damage caused by MS

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

28 posted on 12/05/2010 4:37:06 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: zeugma; neverdem; decimon; The Comedian
IIRC, a proton is two up quarks and a down, a neutron is two down quarks and an up.

Up quarks have charge +2/3,and down quarks have charge -1/3.

So "two ups and a down" yield +2/3 + 2/3 - 1/3 = +1
and
"two downs and an up " yield -1/3 -1/3 + 2/3 = 0

Cheers!

29 posted on 12/05/2010 5:20:35 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers; zeugma; neverdem; decimon
The only physics joke I ever invented:

0: Knock knock.

1: Who's there?

0: Heisenberg.

1: Heisenberg who?

0: I'm uncertain.

(rimshot)

Tip your waitress. Good night.


Frowning takes 68 muscles.
Smiling takes 6.
Pulling this trigger takes 2.
I'm lazy.

30 posted on 12/05/2010 5:44:55 PM PST by The Comedian (Government: Saving people from freedom since time immemorial.)
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To: neverdem
They assumed that outcome would be particularly favoured because 40 and 50 are magic numbers for which shells would be exactly filled. ... But the mercury dealt a surprise, splitting instead into ruthenium-100 and krypton-80.

Hey buttheads, never assume.

(Sheesh. And they brainiacs are getting paid big bucks? I want a refund.)

31 posted on 12/06/2010 4:36:03 AM PST by Condor51 (SAT CONG!)
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To: mikeandike

“They should try the experiment without observing it and see what happens.”

Philosophy majors should avoid those sciences requiring labs and maths.

Just kidding...


32 posted on 12/06/2010 4:50:07 AM PST by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism - "Who-whom?")
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