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2Physics Quote:
"Stars with a mass of more than about 8 times the solar mass usually end in a supernova explosion. Before and during this explosion new elements, stable and radioactive, are formed by nuclear reactions and a large fraction of their mass is ejected with high velocities into the surrounding space. Most of the new elements are in the mass range until Fe, because there the nuclear binding energies are the largest. If such an explosion happens close to the sun it can be expected that part of the debris might enter the solar system and therefore should leave a signature on the planets and their moons." -- Thomas Faestermann, Gunther Korschinek (Read Full Article: "Recent Supernova Debris on the Moon" )

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Physics: from Electron to Universe

... and what about your cellphone or the large TV in your living room?

In 1897 .. when J. J. Thompson conclusively discovered electrons,
many might have wondered what could be the use of learning about
such small particles ... a few millions of which can be accomodated
on the tip of a needle.
[Electron's 'classical' radius is about 2.8 X 10^(-15) meter
which means you need to divide 2.8 meters by 1 million billion.
Why 'classical?' - Be patient. We'll explain that later]

But within a few decades the world got revolutionized mainly with
the use of electricity (which is nothing but flow of electrons in wires)
and the great discovery of semiconductors in which energy of electron
is controlled in such a way that the device can be assigned to do
various kinds of logical operation and used to make wonderful
things ... like radio, T.V, telephone .... computer .... microwave oven..
Our modern day life is so much dependent on electrons that we
almost forget that these is being put to work day and night like slaves
by our technology experts for helping us to communicate and do
important jobs and provide us comfort!

Electron is a true revolution in mankind's history.
Alas! We never celebrate it!


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