Skip to main content
  1. Tech
  2. Gadgets & Tech
  3. Tech Gear

Left-handed quarks, baby fusion-steps, gene politics

See also

Left-handed quarks (Science Magazine)

Electrons spin, and so can spin clockwise or counterclockwise. If you shoot a beam of electrons at an atomic nucleus, you would not expect it to make any difference, which way they were spinning. But it does, because one of the nuclear forces, the weak force, is fundamentally asymmetrical. The scatter pattern for the clockwise beam is not a mirror image of the pattern for the counterclockwise beam.

That's for interactions at the level of the nucleus. But what about at the level of quarks, the particles that make up the protons and neutrons that make up nuclei? They have finally managed to get electron beams powerful enough to pry their way into neutrons and bound off individual quarks. The same asymmetry appeared. Which was exactly what was expected. This is confirmation of the existing physics theories, and also puts constraints on any new theories.

Baby fusion-steps (Discover)

Fusion is hard to do. But the physicists are Lawrence Livermore Labs have made some progress. They have achieved fusion, for about a second, by firing a massive laser into a fuel pellet, and the fusion produced more energy than went into the laser. It still didn't produce more than 1% of the total energy used in the system, the breakeven point. But it produced more than ten times as much energy as previous similar experiments.

Gene politics (New Scientist)

Genetic analysis of American Indians from Canada and Latin America confirms that they all descend from a small population that crossed over from Siberia several thousand years ago. Why no samples from the US? Because US Indians do not trust geneticists, ever since the Havasupai tribe gave DNA samples to Arizona State University, to research their tendency to diabetes, and the university also used the samples to study inbreeding rates and the Siberian question. Not only did the Havasupai resent the unsanctioned use, they resented the Siberian issue, since their own origin myths say they were created in the Grand Canyon.

Advertisement

Don't Miss

  • Massive
    Ubisoft Massive exclusive: 'The Division', PS4 & Xbox One, Activision to Ubisoft & more
    Camera
    Games Exclusive
  • iPhone
    Get your wallet ready: The next iPhone could cost $100 more than your last one
    Video
    Tech Buzz
  • Civ
    Need to catch up on 'Sid Meier's Civilization'? Here is everything you need to know
    Camera
    Games Feature
  • Google Glass
    See how Google Glass is letting sick kids go to the zoo without leaving the hospital
    Tech News
  • Upcoming
    These are 2014's biggest PS4, Xbox One and Wii U games
    Camera
    Games Feature
  • Google
    Google has filed for a patent to develop contact lenses capable of taking photos
    Video
    Headlines

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!