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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, October 20, 2005

One Decade of Top Quark

A decade ago in this week, experimental physicists representing seventy-four institutions in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan, and the United States announced the discovery at Fermilab of the top quark, a fundamental building block of matter and the universe.

The name "quark" was taken by Murray Gell-Mann from the book "Finnegan's Wake" by James Joyce. The line "Three quarks for Muster Mark..." appears in the fanciful book. Gell-Mann received the 1969 Nobel Prize for his work in classifying elementary particles. There are 6 different kinds of quark: Up, Down, Charm, Strange, Top and Bottom. Being in a confined state, they act as constituents of fundamental particles like Proton and Neutron but not, for instance, electron. The confinement of quarks implies that we cannot isolate them to measure their masses in a direct way. The masses and their existence must be implied indirectly from scattering experiments. To know more about quarks at your own pace, visit
these pages of hyperphysics.

Fermilab will celebrate 10 years of discovery of Top quark and the new possibilities it opened for science in a half-day symposium entitled "Top Turns Ten" on Friday afternoon, October 21, at Fermilab. The agenda is here.

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