Tag Archives: atomic nuclei

The Universe in the Middle of Nowhere

The UA’s Chris Impey has taught cosmology to Tibetan Buddhist monastics in remote parts of India each summer for the past five years. With a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, he detailed his experiences in a book, “Humble Before the Void,” which likely will publish in 2014.

Chris Impey thinks back to the time he spent living on the edge of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, teaching modern cosmology to Buddhist monastics in India: “On a typical day, they would be up at 5 a.m. and have prayed for a few hours or done meditation before you even see them. And their attention is just as good at the end of a long day as at the beginning.” (more…)

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Nuclear Waste-Burning Technology Could Change the Face of Nuclear Energy

AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas at Austin physicists have been awarded a U.S. patent for an invention that could someday be used to turn nuclear waste into fuel, thus removing the most dangerous forms of waste from the fuel cycle.

The researchers — Mike Kotschenreuther, Prashant Valanju and Swadesh Mahajan of the College of Natural Sciences — have patented the concept for a novel fusion-fission hybrid nuclear reactor that would use nuclear fusion and fission together to incinerate nuclear waste. Fusion produces energy by fusing atomic nuclei, and fission produces energy by splitting atomic nuclei. (more…)

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NSF Signs $34.5-million Operating Agreement With University Of Wisconsin as Antarctic Neutrino Detector Nears Completion

The National Science Foundation has signed a five-year, $34.5-million agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to operate a unique telescope–a cubic kilometer in volume–buried in the Antarctic ice sheet between 1,400 meters and 2,400 meters deep.

The collaborative agreement covers the cost of operating the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located in the ice under the U.S. Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. The observatory records the rare collisions of neutrinos, elusive sub-atomic particles, with the atomic nuclei of the water frozen into ice. Neutrinos come from the sun, cosmic rays interacting with the Earth’s atmosphere, and dramatic astronomical sources such as exploding stars in the Milky Way and other distant galaxies. Trillions of neutrinos stream through the human body at any given moment, but they rarely interact with regular matter, and researchers want to know more about them and where they come from. (more…)

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