New Element Officially Added

Set another place at the periodic table, we have another confirmed guest!

Element112Set another place at the periodic table, we have another confirmed guest!  It’s not every day that science updates the classic chart of  the atoms that make up our universe (well what we know of it so far…)

A team of scientists, lead by Sigurd Hofmann at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (Centre for Heavy Ion Research) in Darmstadt, Germany are credited with its discovery.

“The new element is approximately 277 times heavier than hydrogen, making it the heaviest element in the periodic table,” the scientists said in a statement.

Hofmann and his team first synthesized the element in 1996 by firing charged zinc atoms through a 120 meter-long particle accelerator into a lead target. The zinc and lead nuclei were fused to form the new element.

Go science! Too bad you can’t get a sample of it, the lifespan of this element is measured in seconds. Wikipedia has a gob of tech on it if you want to sound all smart like to your friends: Wikipedia – Element 112

[via Periodic table adding new element – The Register UK]
Want your own periodic table of the elements? I bet you do! Amazon has a nice periodic table of the elements for less than $10. Buy it and I get a tiny kick back, we all know how that works.

Whoa… Cool Rockets!

These are so fantastic! As a fan of the ‘golden age of science fiction‘, this is what I envision spacecraft of that imagined far flung future would look like.

Cool Rockets is a line of resin-cast, hand-finished rocket ships, all inspired by the styles of the 40’s and 50’s rockets from comics, TV, and toys. Created by Jeff Brewer, a film and special-effects modelmaker in northern California, Cool Rockets offer a unique collection that is handmade, unique, and more affordable than you’d think. All the designs are original inspirations of an era, not copies of some vehicle you’ve seen in a movie or TV show.

Cool Rockets

DIY Plane from a Broken Helicopter

I had a toy helicopter that had lost it’s tail rotor in an unfortunate accident. I didn’t want to part with it because the main rotor still spun and heck it’s a remote control helicopter. I proceeded to turn the once state of the art in toy chopper technology (OK, once of state of the art) into a regular airplane. This is a photset of my ‘proof of concept’ adventure.
Continue reading “DIY Plane from a Broken Helicopter”

Thinking About the Bomb, 24/7

gun-type fission weapon - WikipediaThis is quite the facinating story about a man named John Coster-Mullen that while driving his semi truck attempts to plumb the inner workings of America’s first atomic bomb named ‘Little Boy’. Sounds like a strange hobby to some but to me it represents a pure ‘knowledge for the sake of knowledge’ motivation that is lacking in today’s world. Call me morbid but being able to get down to the nuts and bolts of one of the most destructive devices mankind has ever constructed is an amazing achievement.

[via Boingboing]
The New Yorker – Atomic John ( by David Samuels )

Have you hurled today?

Catapult Nothing but fun family time here. Everyone loves to build tiny replicas of Medieval siege machines! Let’s not forget that it’s also a great way to expand your mind…

A catapult project gives students a chance to see that science and engineering really can be fun, and it’s a lot more than just numbers on paper. The real payoff for an engineer is in the field, where she can see and enjoy the results of her ingenuity. And it may seem counterintuitive, but engineering projects not only help kids learn math and science, they are also great at getting kids back outdoors, away from the massive over-exposure to video games, TV and the Internet.

Tape + Vacuum = X-rays?

Simply cool, who would have thought you could get x-rays out of tape? Chalk one up for triboluminescence!

It turns out that if you peel the popular adhesive tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits X-rays. The researchers even made an X-ray image of one of their fingers.

X-rays emitted from ordinary Scotch tape