Exploding star missing from formation of solar system
A new study published by University of Chicago researchers challenges the notion that the force of an exploding star prompted the formation of the solar system.
In this study, published online last month in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, authors Haolan Tang and Nicolas Dauphas found the radioactive isotope iron 60 — the telltale sign of an exploding star—low in abundance and well mixed in solar system material. As cosmochemists, they look for remnants of stellar explosions in meteorites to help determine the conditions under which the solar system formed. 
Some remnants are radioactive isotopes: unstable, energetic atoms that decay over time. Scientists in the past decade have found high amounts of the radioactive isotope iron 60 in early solar system materials. “If you have iron 60 in high abundance in the solar system, that’s a ‘smoking gun’—evidence for the presence of a supernova,” said Dauphas, professor in geophysical sciences.
Iron 60 can only originate from a supernova, so scientists have tried to explain this apparent abundance by suggesting that a supernova occurred nearby, spreading the isotope through the explosion.
But Tang and Dauphas’ results were different from previous work: They discovered that levels of iron 60 were uniform and low in early solar system material. They arrived at these conclusions by testing meteorite samples. To measure iron 60’s abundance, they looked at the same materials that previous researchers had worked on, but used a different, more precise approach that yielded evidence of very low iron 60.
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Exploding star missing from formation of solar system

A new study published by University of Chicago researchers challenges the notion that the force of an exploding star prompted the formation of the solar system.

In this study, published online last month in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, authors Haolan Tang and Nicolas Dauphas found the radioactive isotope iron 60 — the telltale sign of an exploding star—low in abundance and well mixed in solar system material. As cosmochemists, they look for remnants of stellar explosions in meteorites to help determine the conditions under which the solar system formed. 

Some remnants are radioactive isotopes: unstable, energetic atoms that decay over time. Scientists in the past decade have found high amounts of the radioactive isotope iron 60 in early solar system materials. “If you have iron 60 in high abundance in the solar system, that’s a ‘smoking gun’—evidence for the presence of a supernova,” said Dauphas, professor in geophysical sciences.

Iron 60 can only originate from a supernova, so scientists have tried to explain this apparent abundance by suggesting that a supernova occurred nearby, spreading the isotope through the explosion.

But Tang and Dauphas’ results were different from previous work: They discovered that levels of iron 60 were uniform and low in early solar system material. They arrived at these conclusions by testing meteorite samples. To measure iron 60’s abundance, they looked at the same materials that previous researchers had worked on, but used a different, more precise approach that yielded evidence of very low iron 60.

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(via Mars Science Laboratory: Images)
And here’s the laser we’re attacking Mars rocks with. No, I mean it. I’m serious. OK, not about the attacking, but the APXS on Curiosity’s arm is designed to fire a laser at material and watch the x-ray backscattering when a flash is produced as it vaporizes it. It has already been tried on a rock called “Coronation”.
From JPL:

09.12.2012
Portrait of APXS on Mars
This image shows the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) on NASA’s Curiosity rover, with the Martian landscape in the background. The image was taken by Curiosity’s Mast Camera on the 32nd Martian day, or sol, of operations on the surface (Sept. 7, 2012, PDT or Sept. 8, 2012, UTC). APXS can be seen in the middle of the picture.This image let researchers know that the APXS instrument had not become caked with dust during Curiosity’s dusty landing.Scientists enhanced the color in this version to show the Martian scene as it would appear under the lighting conditions we have on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain. 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS 

(via Mars Science Laboratory: Images)

And here’s the laser we’re attacking Mars rocks with. No, I mean it. I’m serious. OK, not about the attacking, but the APXS on Curiosity’s arm is designed to fire a laser at material and watch the x-ray backscattering when a flash is produced as it vaporizes it. It has already been tried on a rock called “Coronation”.

From JPL:

09.12.2012

Portrait of APXS on Mars

This image shows the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) on NASA’s Curiosity rover, with the Martian landscape in the background. The image was taken by Curiosity’s Mast Camera on the 32nd Martian day, or sol, of operations on the surface (Sept. 7, 2012, PDT or Sept. 8, 2012, UTC). APXS can be seen in the middle of the picture.

This image let researchers know that the APXS instrument had not become caked with dust during Curiosity’s dusty landing.

Scientists enhanced the color in this version to show the Martian scene as it would appear under the lighting conditions we have on Earth, which helps in analyzing the terrain. 

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS 

keishid

klainespants:

apparently when you drop a gummy bear into potassium

it opens a portal to hell

Oh, hey, look science!

2KClO3 (Potassium Chlorate) is a great oxidizing agent, and sugar is something that breaks down quite well in addition to oxidizing well.

A gummy bear is basically a gelatinous collection of sucrose.

When you combine potassium chlorate and plain sugar, you can easily ignite it with a drop of sulfuric acid or, as in this case, heating it.

The choice to heat was probably also for the gummy bear, whose melting will continue to release sugars into the mixture as the gelatin breaks down.

Also, the gummy bear regulates the speed of the reaction. If you click the link I provided at the beginning, you’ll see that the uncontrolled reaction produces a lot of heat and eventually destroys the container.

Phil would like to remind you:

Just a quick reminder: I’m participating in a blogger’s challenge with Donors Choose to raise money to get science supplies for classrooms in need. I have added a link in the sidebar of the blog (just below the picture of me) so that you can see how much has been raised, and which also provides a link to the donation page.

If you can’t donate, that’s fine, but if you could, please help spread the word through the social networks; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, whatever you can. This is a great way to get people to contribute directly to kids who need to learn about the joy and wonder of exploring the Universe. Thanks!

quantumaniac

Famous Physicists at a Party.

quantumaniac:

One day, all of the world’s famous physicists decided to get together for a party (ok, there were some non-physicists too who crashed the party). Fortunately, the doorman was a grad student, and able to observe some of the guests… 

  • Everyone gravitated toward Newton, but he just kept moving around at a constant velocity and showed no reaction.
  • Einstein thought it was a relatively good time.
  • Coulomb got a real charge out of the whole thing.
  • Cauchy, being the mathematician, still managed to integrate well with everyone.
  • Thompson enjoyed the plum pudding.
  • Pauli came late, but was mostly excluded from things, so he split.
  • Pascal was under too much pressure to enjoy himself.
  • Ohm spent most of the time resisting Ampere’s opinions on current events.
  • Hamilton went to the buffet tables exactly once.
  • Volta thought the social had a lot of potential.
  • Hilbert was pretty spaced out for most of it.
  • Heisenberg may or may not have been there.
  • Feynman got from the door to the buffet table by taking every possible path
  • The Curies were there and just glowed the whole time.
  • van der Waals forced himeself to mingle.
  • Wien radiated a colourful personality.
  • Millikan dropped his Italian oil dressing.
  • de Broglie mostly just stood in the corner and waved.
  • Hollerith liked the hole idea.
  • Stefan and Boltzman got into some hot debates.
  • Everyone was attracted to Tesla’s magnetic personality.
  • Compton was a little scatter-brained at times.
  • Bohr ate too much and got atomic ache.
  • Watt turned out to be a powerful speaker.
  • Hertz went back to the buffet table several times a minute.
  • Faraday had quite a capacity for food.
  • Oppenheimer got bombed.
  • The microwave started radiating in the background when Penzias and Wilson showed up.
  • After one bite Chandrasekhar reached his limit.
  • Gamow left the party early with a big bang while Hoyle stayed late in a steady state.
  • For Schrodinger this was more a wave function rather than a social function.
  • Skorucak wanted to put everybody on his web site.
  • Erdos was sad no epsilons were invited.
  • Born thought the probability of enjoying himself was pretty high.
  • Instead of coming through the front door Josephson tunnelled through.
  • Groucho refused to attend any party that would invite him in the first place.
  • Niccolò Tartaglia kept stammering throughout the evening.
  • Pauling wanted to bond with everyone.
  • Keynes was keen to question the marginal utility of this party.
  • Shakespeare could not decide whether to be or not to be at the party.
  • John Forbes Nash wanted to play a n-person zero sum game.
  • Pavlov brought his dog; which promptly chased after Schrodinger’s cat.
  • Zeno of Elea came with two friends - Achilles and the tortoise.
  • Bill Gates came to install windows.
  • Bertrand Russell kept wondering if the cook only cooks for the guests, who cooks for the cook?
  • Witten bought a present all tied up with superstrings.
  • The food was beautifully laid out by Mendeleyev on the periodic table.
  • Riemann hypothesised about who would arrive next; to which Newton retorted, ’ hypotheses non fingo.’
  • Chadwick was handing out neutrons free of charge.
  • Everyone was amazed at Bell’s inequality.
  • Watson and Crick danced the Double Helix.
  • While Fermat sang, ‘Save the Last Theorem for me.’
  • Maxwell’s demon argued with Dawkin’s friend, the selfish Gene.
  • Russell and Whitehead insisted on checking the bill for completeness and consistency. Godel said it was incomplete and it can never be proved otherwise.
  • Epimenides the Cretan announced that only non-Cretans spoke the truth.
  • Rontgen saw through everybody.
  • Descartes cogitated, ‘I think I am drunk. Therefore I am at the party.’

Holy. Shit. This is too damn funny!