Breaking Physics… Again
The lab that produced the neutrinos that traveled faster than light reproduced its findings the other day. This time they controlled for a possible error, so that’s one less reason that their findings are wrong. However, an Italian lab is disputing this whole faster-than-light problem by saying that the first lab failed to account for the neutrinos’ energy properly. So, for now we’re still stuck debating the question as to whether or not the speed of light can be broken.
Engineering the Heaviest Element
Two teams of scientists are both trying to create the heaviest elements ever by firing titanium beams at a wafer of berkelium. The premise is that the 22 protons in titanium will mesh with berkelium’s 97 protons to create the new element 119. However, detecting that element could be difficult, since element 118 lasted only 1.8 milliseconds and element 119 isn’t expected to last that long before decaying.
Probing Mars for Life
The curiosity rover launched Saturday and will probe Mars for signatures of life. The rover won’t reach Mars until August 2012. Once it’s there it will use the most sophisticated tools ever used on the Martian surface to help scientists better understand Mars’ geography and see if life was once feasible on the red planet.