Nuclear clocks could make our time measurement even more accurate than atomic clocks. The key to this lies in thorium-229, an atomic nucleus whose lowest excited state has very low energy. A research team from the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at the University of Heidelberg, TU Wien, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), and GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt has now succeeded in measuring this low energy. Using an extremely accurate detector, it was possible to detect the tiny temperature increase due to the energy released during the de-excitation of the atomic nucleus. This brings the realization of a nuclear clock a big step closer.
In radioactive decay, atomic nuclei spontaneously re-arrange, eject some part of their building blocks, and transform into a nucleus of a different atom. In this process, the new “daughter atom” usually has internally stored energy that is released in the form of
In the coming years and decades, various nations want to explore the moon, and plan to send astronauts there again for this purpose. But on our inhospitable satellite, space radiation poses a significant risk. The Apollo astronauts carried so-called dosimeters with them, which performed rudimentary measurements of the total radiation exposure during their entire expedition to the moon and back again. In the current issue (25 September) of the journal Science Advances, Chinese and German scientists report for the first time on time-resolved measurements of the radiation on the moon.
The “Lunar Lander Neutron and Dosimetry” (LND) was developed and built at Kiel University, on behalf of the Space Administration at the German Aerospace Center (DLR), with funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The measurements taken by the LND allow the calculation of the so-called equivalent dose. This is important to estimate the biological
FILE – In this Sept. 2, 2020 file photo, the full moon shines surrounded by clouds in the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany. Future moon explorers will face ultrahazardous radiation levels. That’s the conclusion of a new study published by Chinese and German scientists Friday, Sept. 25. The researchers say astronauts on the moon will be bombarded with two to three times more radiation than astronauts currently circling Earth aboard the International Space Station. less
FILE – In this Sept. 2, 2020 file photo, the full moon shines surrounded by clouds in the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany. Future moon explorers will face ultrahazardous radiation levels. That’s the conclusion … more
Photo: Michael Probst, AP
Photo: Michael Probst, AP
FILE – In this Sept. 2, 2020 file photo, the full moon shines surrounded by clouds in the outskirts of
Emerging use of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) makes it possible to continuously measure shallow changes in elevation of Earth surface. A study by the University of Bonn now shows that the quality of these measurements may have improved significantly during the pandemic, at least at some stations. The results show which factors should be considered in the future when installing GPS antennas. More precise geodetic data are important for assessing flood risks and for improving earthquake early warning systems. The journal Geophysical Research Letters now reports on this.
A number of countries went into politically decreed late hibernation at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of those affected by the lockdown suffered negative economic and social consequences. Geodesy, a branch of the Earth Science to study Earth’s gravity field and its shape, on the other hand, has benefited from the drastic reduction in human activity. At least that