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Hunt for the red in October: week recap October 20, 2006

Posted by apetrov in Near Physics, Particle Physics, Physics.

Well, I decided to update my blog before going to that hadronic meeting in Nashville tomorrow.  Some things that I wanted to mention:

1. Detroit Tigers are going to meet St. Louis Cardinals (hence the title of this post) in the baseball World Series starting this Saturday. It’d be cool to see Tigers go all the way. You see, for 22 years they were… hmmm… not so good. And this season something happened.  They practically dismanteled feared NY Yankees and Oaklans A’s in the postseason. Let’s wish them good luck.

2. A new trans-uranium element, atomic number 118, was created in Dubna using JINR U400 cyclotron by a team of Russian scientists from the Flerov Lab of JINR (led by Prof. Yuri Oganessian) and US scientists from Livermore Lab (led by Prof. Ken Moody). They created it by bombarding Californium-249 with Calcium-48 and carefully studying the decay chain.

The goal of this whole research program is to find the so-called “island of stability,” which might be there according to the shell model of a nucleus. If the element 120 is indeed stable, one can (theoretically) build a “pocket nuclear reactor.”

Island on stability (on the right). From Wikipedia. 

(look for the island of stability on the right — Wikipedia picture)

Apparently, they had element 118 for over a year, but were sitting on the result because of the past allegations of “data misrepresentation,” when the creation if this same element was announced at Berkeley in 1999 only to be retracted two years later. Rumor has it that JINR team wants to call it “Moscowium.”

3.  The report of the Particle Physics Prioritization Panel (P5) has appeared. It is called “The Particle Physics Roadmap” The priorities for US High Energy Program (not surprizingly) are

  1. LHC and Research and Development for the ILC
  2. Dark matter and dark energy searches
  3. Neutrino physics experiments
  4. Everything else (once-mighty B-physics, K-physics, charged leptons, etc.)

So, flavor physics is now firmly in the far corner of that roadmap. I’ll post more about that in the future.


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