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May 17, 2007

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Brain-Hurt of the Day

From Elizabeth Kolbert’s lovely article about CERN’s giant Hadron Collider:

It is one of the paradoxes of particle physics that fundamental particles, though pointlike and indivisible, are also generally unstable. In fact, the heavier particles are so short-lived that even to speak of their having an existence seems faintly ludicrous; a top quark, for example, is estimated to last no more than 1 × 10¯²⁴ seconds. (For comparison’s sake, 1 × 10¯²⁴ centuries comes to three millionths of a billionth of a second.)
Och, there goes my head, hurting again.

mthompson-sig.gif
Posted May 17, 2007 at 6:47 | Comments (0) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted, Science
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