Scientists still debate the origins of Earth’s life-sustaining elements.
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Scientists analyzing isotope ratios have found that many of the elements that make up life could be left over from Earth’s formation.
George De Hevesy working in his lab at Stockholm University in 1944.
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Some Nobel Prize-winning ideas originate in strange places, but still go on to revolutionize the scientific field. George de Hevesy’s research on radioactive tracers is one such example.
Tracing isotopes of carbon inside amino acid molecules has revealed the ‘metabolic fingerprints’ of how different animals store and use energy.
The beaver lives at the intersection of the aquatic and forest environments, so its presence increases interactions between these two ecosystems.
Beavers are an important ecosystem engineer in the boreal forest and researchers are demystifying their secrets.
A new particle accelerator at Michigan State University is set to discover thousands of never-before-seen isotopes.
Facility for Rare Isotope Beams
A new particle accelerator has just begun operation. It is the most powerful accelerator of its kind on Earth and will allow physicists to study some of the rarest matter in the universe.
Protons and neutrons in an atom’s nucleus can be arranged in different configurations, creating nuclear isomers.
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Nuclear isomers are rare versions of elements with properties that mystified physicists when first discovered. Isomers are now used in medicine and astronomy, and researchers are set to discover thousands more of them.
Magnetic fusion reactors contain super hot plasma in a donut-shaped container called a tokamak.
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In January 2022, the JET fusion experiment produced more power over a longer period of time than any past attempt. Two physicists explain the engineering advancements that made the result possible.
A monarch butterfly’s body can reveal where the caterpillar originated from.
Isotope mapping reveals information about a monarch butterfly’s point of origin. Using strontium isotopes helps pinpoint more precise locations.
The ruins of the Temple of Victory in Himera, which was constructed to commemorate the first battle in 480 B.C.
Are the descriptions of war passed down by ancient historians accurate? A site in Sicily provided a rare chance to fact-check stories told about two battles from more than 2,400 years ago.
Leaded petrol hasn’t been used since 2002, but new research found traces of it end up back in the air after bushfires.
Two planetary bodies colliding.
The Earth and the Moon were long thought to be virtually identical in composition. Now we know they are not.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani (right) inspects the country’s nuclear facilities in April 2019.
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Iran has announced it will breach the limits on uranium enrichment agreed under the 2015 nuclear deal, after the US turned its back on the agreement. What does that mean for Iran’s nuclear program?
Researchers have identified 3,000 radioactive isotopes – and predict 4,000 more are out there.
Alongside their famous dangers, radioactive materials have many beneficial uses. With as many more predicted as have already been discovered, nuclear physicists are searching for more isotopes.
A fossil tooth contains isotopes that offer clues of aridification.
A study has found that a local event rather than a global shift in climate caused the mass extinction in South Africa.
Straw-necked ibis gather to breed.
Bird feathers can tell us a lot about their owners and the places they visit.
Through the looking glass: nuclear medicine gives us a unique perspective.
Technetium-99m is the world’s most commonly used medical isotope, used for over 30 million medical diagnostic procedures annually. But recent years have seen severe worldwide shortages and price spikes…
Some of the isotopes we find here on Earth were created in supernova explosions like this one.
If you’ve ever studied a periodic table of the elements (see below), you’re probably already aware that this table reveals a great deal about the chemical properties of the atoms that make up our world…