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Old 27th April 2019, 11:14 PM   #1
RecoveringYuppy
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Xenon-124 half-life is trillion times universe age

I wonder what it would take to actually find the tellurium daughter atoms?


http://www.sci-news.com/physics/half...124-07132.html
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Old 29th April 2019, 05:11 PM   #2
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WOW.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 08:32 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I wonder what it would take to actually find the tellurium daughter atoms?


http://www.sci-news.com/physics/half...124-07132.html
I don't feel like going through the math, but my initial impression is that it would be, what, thousands of events a year per mole of 124Xe?
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Old 3rd May 2019, 12:08 PM   #4
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N(t) = N(0) * (1/2) ^ (t/t.5)

To get the decay in that time we subtract so

D(t) = N(0) - N(0) * (1/2) ^ (t/t.5)

Then the decay in a mole in a year is
D(t) = 1 - (1/2) ^ (1/t.5) * N_A

If:
* I've done that right and
* python Decimal library has sufficient precision and
* the halflife is 18 sextillion years
then:

>>> (Decimal('1') - Decimal('0.5') ** (Decimal(1) / (Decimal(18) * Decimal('10') ** Decimal('21')))) * Decimal('6.022') * Decimal('10') ** Decimal('23')
Decimal('23.18963804000000000000000000')

So a couple dozen decays per year per mole. Feel free to find errors in that setup.

Last edited by BowlOfRed; 3rd May 2019 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 3rd May 2019, 05:02 PM   #5
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Phil Plait, The Bad Astronomer, describes it as "the rarest event in the Universe we've ever seen".
https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/scient...verse-yet-seen
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Old 3rd May 2019, 07:45 PM   #6
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by BowlOfRed View Post
So a couple dozen decays per year per mole. Feel free to find errors in that setup.
You can't be too wrong because dividing Avogadro's number by the half life gets you in the right ballpark and you're there.


I'm intentionally leaving something out to annoy any passing pedants.
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Old 5th May 2019, 11:09 AM   #7
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As an immortal entity, I look forward to, eventually, seeing ALL of the Xenon-124 atoms in the universe decay.
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Old 5th May 2019, 02:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
As an immortal entity, I look forward to, eventually, seeing ALL of the Xenon-124 atoms in the universe decay.
Seeing or being able to verify.
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Old 5th May 2019, 06:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by fuelair View Post
Seeing or being able to verify.
I suppose I can make a few stops to see each one decay, in between my life-insulting duties, sure.
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Old 8th May 2019, 07:17 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
As an immortal entity, I look forward to, eventually, seeing ALL of the Xenon-124 atoms in the universe decay.
How many have you seen so far? Have you insulted any?
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Old 8th May 2019, 07:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I wonder what it would take to actually find the tellurium daughter atoms?


http://www.sci-news.com/physics/half...124-07132.html
Cool but... why did they build that thing to begin with, and what does it have to do with dark matter?
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Old 8th May 2019, 09:38 AM   #12
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It's is hoped that "dark matter" isn't 100% dark and besides the observed gravitational pull might actually have some (rare) interactions with matter. If so, the interactions should be seen in the right kind of instrument.

This is one such attempt to find them. http://science.purdue.edu/xenon1t/?p=44 goes into how it works. It basically watches for all sorts of "events" and with sufficient information about them, tries to characterize them into the specific interaction that happened. If there's anything that it finds that can't be characterized by what we expect, then it would deserve a lot of followup.

Also, with the capabilities it has, if it doesn't see anything in a particular amount of time, that constrains the sorts of things that dark matter could be and could reduce consideration of such.
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Old 8th May 2019, 10:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BowlOfRed View Post
It's is hoped that "dark matter" isn't 100% dark and besides the observed gravitational pull might actually have some (rare) interactions with matter.
I'm hoping that dark matter is just black cotton candy. That'd explain the filament-like structures of the universe, and would provide me with endless supplies of sugary happiness.
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Old 9th May 2019, 05:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
I'm hoping that dark matter is just black cotton candy. That'd explain the filament-like structures of the universe, and would provide me with endless supplies of sugary happiness.
Sadly something with the density of cotton candy spread over such large volumes would collapse into a black hole.

Life just isnít fair.
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