Thursday, February 24, 2011

Supernova-creating particle accelerators will make the biggest bangs we have ever known

Amazing events: explosions in deep space bring heavy atoms into existence Photo: AP

Just a little perspective on the doings on Earth!
The periodic table is meant to be an authoritative list, but scientistsbelieve there are a few elements missing. Well, not exactly a few – more likely between 3,500 and 7,000. And now they are preparing to build a series of giant new machines to find them. This new breed of atom-smashers, billed as the successors to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Cern in Geneva, will recreate some of the most extreme conditions found in the universe, creating miniature supernovae (huge explosions triggered when stars collapse), neutron stars and even the mysterious vampire stars right here on planet Earth.
Inside the replicas of these cataclysmic cosmic explosions, scientists expect to find atoms that have never been seen before winking in and out of existence. It is a search for what nuclear physicists describe asterra incognita, an unknown land of atomic science. More here.
The Periodic table here.

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