Topic: =/\= fermi lab discoveres new particle! the shuttles last day in orbit  (Read 3419 times)

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Offline stoneyface

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an exciting day for particle physicists!!!! a new subatomic particle has been discovered by fermi lab. dubbed "xi-sub-b" it is a particle made up of 3 quarks and is one of the heaviest of the "baryon" particles. oddly other baryon particles include the proton and neutron. the xi-sub-b is 6 times heavier that it's relatives and is considered a "bottom baryon" read the rather cool news here: http://www.conceivablytech.com/8516/science-research/fermilab-scientists-discover-new-particle


today marks the last night in orbit for the last shuttle mission. each new "last" event makes me more and more sad for the loss of such a monumental program. i can only hope that we are no going to lose space permanently in this country. we have always been the pioneers of space exploration (shared with the russians) and not to not have a viable space program just makes me sad...


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Offline Brush Wolf

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I find it very sad that no replacement for the shuttle program was developed and it isn't like they didn't have time. I think the real future of space is in the hands of the private sector with the follow on designs to Spaceship One.
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Offline TAnimaL

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(Treading carefully as to not turn this topic "hot & spicy"...)
They did plan a replacement, several proposals over the years in fact (Shuttle II, Constellation/Orion) but these were never funded to the extent that NASA could switch right over from the STS to the "next US manned vehicle." While that would have been awesome, the money has never been there. As it is, the followup is being worked on - by NASA with the MultiPurpose Crew Vehicle, and by companies like SpaceX with the Dragon spacecraft.

The shuttle was an amazing machine and accomplished an incredible amount, but after 30 years, 135 flights, 21000 orbits, millions of miles flown, the time had come to end the program. We still have a space program. There are astronauts in orbit now on the ISS. NASA will have another manned launch vehicle. Until then, US Astronauts will just pay for their rides, from the Russians (who have the excperience), or from the much-ballyhooed private sector, which is finally stepping up to the plate like SpaceX and SpaceDev and Virgin.

Offline Strat

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Does that mean we beat them in the sprint to the moon, but now they carry us like passengers in the endurance race?

(Its a history joke, better not start the flaming wars!)

Offline stoneyface

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i have always felt that the shuttle was too generalized. while at the time of it's inception it was a great leap forward in technology, it was the most complicated flying craft ever built because it tried to be able to do everything. i feel that the future will be smaller more specialized craft like spacehip one. (i am totally going to space someday. i have to!)

i also harbor a lot of resentment for nasa not being funded properly but! and it's a big but, i feel it is time to take space exploration away from nasa and move it to companies like virgin galactic. maybe taking away the gov't oversight will speed things up a bit.
if we do not move into space, we die... simple as that.
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Offline Strat

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Well when funding comes from the govmnt, its easy to understand why the political side of things can not empathize with the desire to learn about the universe in which we live. Often, the discoveries that affect us commercially are in the tools invented to go to space, not in what we've learned about space, per se. And those discoveries are relatively expensive, those are the things the gov I think is really interested in.

However, I think had people had more interest in learning about the universe in which we live instead of how it makes us money (or militarizes us) perhaps NASA would be alive and strong.

Offline marstone

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they are funded with 16.8 billion, not really a dead agency in my mind.
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Offline Brush Wolf

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they are funded with 16.8 billion, not really a dead agency in my mind.

However compared to other departments/agencies 16.98 billion is pocket change.
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Offline Strat

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They prob spent it all on the Pen! Ha!

Actually I was thinking as Wolf there, for example, the F-22 fighter jet program [alone] is over 97 billion $$$. Not to mention the rest of military or non-military spending.

But never-the-less 16.8 bil is not chump change.

Offline marstone

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They prob spent it all on the Pen! Ha!

Actually I was thinking as Wolf there, for example, the F-22 fighter jet program [alone] is over 97 billion $$$. Not to mention the rest of military or non-military spending.

But never-the-less 16.8 bil is not chump change.

The F-22 is a cumulative cost over years.  the 16.8 billion for nasa is a one year thing.  It is 2 billion less then the Prez asked for, but it is still a good amount for a single entity. 

You also can't compare the cost of NASA (a little thing) to the whole defense budget.  If for no other reason then that Defense is actually. . . Sorry going toward H&S again.  Just take it as it isn't a bad budget, it is close to the 2010 or 2008 budget that they had so it isn't gutted.
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Offline Bonk

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I always have to wonder, how significant are particles that have nano/pico/femtosecond lifetimes? Are they at all meaningful? Do they exist outside artificial conditions? If they did, would it affect our universe in any way? Could they be useful to us somehow? I suspect the answer to all these questions is: no.

Though I suspect this is the biased view of a former chemist. ;)

I would much rather know what happens when you store a significant mass of antimatter. While annihilation events are fascinating, I feel that focusing on storage and lifetime would move us forward as opposed to just studying annihilation events. Problem is that the kind of mass of antimatter that I would like to see stored might be a tad dangerous to do here on earth... if it went wrong - planet go boom. The scale of experiment that I picture should probably even be done outside the solar system. Thinking realistically though, that is a long time off - if ever - so I guess we might as well keep "plinking" away at it here on the ground.

Quote
the Xi-sub-b was observed in 25 instances among almost 500 trillion proton-antiproton collisions.

Were they really proton-antiproton collisions that produced these particles then? electron-positron annihilation events produce only two photons at gamma/cosmic ray energies... why should a proton-antiproton collision produce particles? :skeptic:

Also... where did the mass come from? How can the collision of a proton and an antiprotpon produce a particle that masses three times as much as the original components? (one proton, one antiproton) They claim this particle is six times the mass of a proton. Where did that mass come from?

Mass to energy conversion I can accept, we have been doing it for quite some time. But energy to mass? Mass from nothing? That be alchemy me son.

I do not think they have observed what they think they have observed.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2011, 07:01:23 am by Bonk XC »

Offline TAnimaL

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Big numbers get scary fast. Best think of it in other terms.

NASA's budget has been, with the exception of the moon landing years (roughly 65 to 69), only 1/2 to 1 % of the Federal budget, no more.

As a society, we spend $70 BILLION a year on lotery tickets . As a society, in one year, we spend 5 TIMES NASA's budget on a product that has been proven to cause cancer, tobacco. One can criticize NASA or the govinmint, but the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in our selves...

I'm not convinced that the private sector can replace NASA. It takes a Federal governent to build a transcontinental railroad, a Panama canal, a national highway system, a moon program. The private sector steps in an utilizes the infrastructure to give us global telecom and international TV. I'm also pretty sure that when I finally get to space, it'll be through a tourism company, not as an Mission Specialist.

One more thing that's been bugging me. We beat the Russians, but that race is over. We're friends now. They have a really decent taxi service in the town we're travelling to, and, frankly, they can use the cash. When someone else comes along that's cheaper/better, we'll pay them, and when the US has another vehicle, we';; use the money on that. THE US is still viewed by the world as THE leader in space (well, maybe not by the Chinese :) ), and we've managed that on less than a penny of every dollar.

Imagine what we could do if NASA's budget was doubled.

Offline marstone

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Big numbers get scary fast. Best think of it in other terms.

NASA's budget has been, with the exception of the moon landing years (roughly 65 to 69), only 1/2 to 1 % of the Federal budget, no more.

As a society, we spend $70 BILLION a year on lotery tickets . As a society, in one year, we spend 5 TIMES NASA's budget on a product that has been proven to cause cancer, tobacco. One can criticize NASA or the govinmint, but the fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in our selves...

I'm not convinced that the private sector can replace NASA. It takes a Federal governent to build a transcontinental railroad, a Panama canal, a national highway system, a moon program. The private sector steps in an utilizes the infrastructure to give us global telecom and international TV. I'm also pretty sure that when I finally get to space, it'll be through a tourism company, not as an Mission Specialist.

One more thing that's been bugging me. We beat the Russians, but that race is over. We're friends now. They have a really decent taxi service in the town we're travelling to, and, frankly, they can use the cash. When someone else comes along that's cheaper/better, we'll pay them, and when the US has another vehicle, we';; use the money on that. THE US is still viewed by the world as THE leader in space (well, maybe not by the Chinese :) ), and we've managed that on less than a penny of every dollar.

Imagine what we could do if NASA's budget was doubled.

the government has not place in having NASA, it should be in the hands of the people and the states.  If you unleash the private sector to get into space, open claims on the moon for mining and development.  Corps will race to get there.  Development will run rampant.  It is because of government saying they are the only ones allowed that development has stagnated.
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Offline Bonk

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Money be damned... who cares about NASA budgets... these Fermilab guys have created matter! Created matter!!!!! From nothing! :o  (...supposedly :skeptic:) If this really is true, we don't need to go to the stars.

Offline stoneyface

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even tho these particles only past in the smallest of measurements of time, i feel the are of the utmost importance because they reveal the foundation of atoms. we are still trying to find all of the smallest units of matter upon which all matter is made of. sure a Xi-sub-b particle lasts fractions of fractions of millisecs but they tell us how sub atomic particles behave and what they are made of. while they may not be important from the "application" side of science but i feel they are important from the pure science aspect... discovery! why would you not want to find what sub atomic particles are made of? that is like being fine with knowing what an orange is without wanting to discover what the seeds are and what they are for.
i don't believe we have any chance of moving forward until we know all the basic building blocks of matter. is there a graviton, what gives mass to things if it is not the higgs boson? this is important work!
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Offline marstone

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even tho these particles only past in the smallest of measurements of time, i feel the are of the utmost importance because they reveal the foundation of atoms. we are still trying to find all of the smallest units of matter upon which all matter is made of. sure a Xi-sub-b particle lasts fractions of fractions of millisecs but they tell us how sub atomic particles behave and what they are made of. while they may not be important from the "application" side of science but i feel they are important from the pure science aspect... discovery! why would you not want to find what sub atomic particles are made of? that is like being fine with knowing what an orange is without wanting to discover what the seeds are and what they are for.
i don't believe we have any chance of moving forward until we know all the basic building blocks of matter. is there a graviton, what gives mass to things if it is not the higgs boson? this is important work!

or these things are man-made and are not a natural part of building atoms at all.  Because the can be made, doesn't mean they are even made in nature.
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