Physicists finally observe strange isotope Oxygen 28 – raising fundamental questions
Listen now
In this episode: 00:47 First observation of oxygen 28Oxygen 28 is an isotope of oxygen with 20 neutrons and eight protons. This strange isotope has long been sought after by physicists, as its proposed unusual properties would allow them to put their theories of how atomic nuclei work to the test. Now, after decades of experiments physicists believe they have observed oxygen 28. The observations are at odds with theory predictions, so they imply that there’s a lot more physicists don’t know about the forces that hold atomic nuclei together. Research article: Kondo et al. News and Views: Heaviest oxygen isotope is found to be unbound 10:06 Research HighlightsHow venus fly traps can protect themselves from wildfires, and a ball-point pen that can ‘write’ LEDs. Research Highlight: Venus flytraps shut their traps when flames approach Research Highlight: A rainbow of LEDs adorns objects at the stroke of a pen 12:39 An AI for Drone RacingAIs have been beating humans at games for years, but in these cases the AI has always trained in exactly the same conditions in which it competes. In chess for example, the board can be simulated exactly. Now though, researchers have demonstrated an AI that can beat humans in a place where simulation can only take you so far, the real world. The Swift AI system is able to race drones against champion-level humans, and beat them most of the time. The researchers hope this research can help improve the efficiency of drones in general. Research article: Kaufmann et al. News and Views: Drone-racing champions outpaced by AI Video: AI finally beats humans at a real-life sport - drone racing 19:51 Briefing ChatThis time, the Indian Space Research Organization’s successful moon landing, and the low level of support offered to researchers whose first language isn’t English by journals. Nature News: India lands on the Moon! Scientists celebrate as Chandrayaan-3 touches down Nature News: Scientists who don’t speak fluent English get little help from journals, study finds Subscribe to Nature Briefing, an unmissable daily round-up of science news, opinion and analysis free in your inbox every weekday. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
More Episodes
The deep haunting tones of the world's largest animals, baleen whales, are iconic - but how the songs are produced has long been a mystery. Whales evolved from land dwelling mammals which vocalize by passing air through a structure called the larynx - a structure which also helps keep food from...
Published 02/23/24
Published 02/23/24
In this episode: 00:45 Why are humans so helpful?Humans are notable for their cooperation and display far more altruistic behaviour than other animals, but exactly why this behaviour evolved has been a puzzle. But in a new paper, the two leading theories have been put the test with a model and a...
Published 02/21/24