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(io9)   How the death of one tiny particle could end the universe -- or -- what the hell did I just read?   (io9.com) divider line 45
    More: Strange, universe, conservation of energy, weak interactions, baryon, leptons, quarks, neutrinos, neutrons  
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6260 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Nov 2012 at 2:28 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



45 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2012-11-08 01:45:14 AM  
Granted, that's a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be very localized, limited to merely our own galaxy.
 
2012-11-08 02:35:19 AM  
Is that an estimated lifespan of protons, or a half-life? If the latter, then I don't think protons would start decaying all at once, which is what this article seems to be implying.
 
2012-11-08 02:40:06 AM  
You've got to be kidding me, Subby! I've been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. It's just common sense.
 
2012-11-08 03:07:12 AM  
That's some weird shiat you're Smoking GNU.
 
2012-11-08 03:08:33 AM  
*reads article*
*blinks*

So...hey guys, did you hear they legalized weed in two states?
 
2012-11-08 03:56:31 AM  

Sgeo: Is that an estimated lifespan of protons, or a half-life? If the latter, then I don't think protons would start decaying all at once, which is what this article seems to be implying.


It's the half life
 
2012-11-08 04:06:24 AM  
Well, now I have to change all my "heat death of the universe" plans. Thanks a lot, science.
 
2012-11-08 04:07:41 AM  
Even if one proton has a half-life of 10^33 years, isn't that about equal to watching a bucket of water for a few minutes?
 
2012-11-08 04:10:37 AM  
This is definitely Obama's fault.

//amirite?
 
2012-11-08 04:11:04 AM  

Terrified Asexual Forcemeat: Even if one proton has a half-life of 10^33 years, isn't that about equal to watching a bucket of water for a few minutes?


How long does it take 2 men to dig 1/2 a hole, assuming the one man is a Swedish supermodel and the other is a bucket of sea urchins on steroids wearing a yellow shirt?
 
2012-11-08 04:11:23 AM  
It's not the decay, it's the observation OF the decay....

ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2012-11-08 04:15:47 AM  
If anyone asks, this is how you define the age of an atom. By it`s half life and decay rate.
 
2012-11-08 04:24:19 AM  
...I'm not getting any sleep after reading this.
 
2012-11-08 05:24:04 AM  
Some perspective:

The universe is currently on the order of 10^11th years old, and the lifetime of protons is on the order of 10^33. So we'll have to wait 22 orders of magnitude longer than the universe so far before they've all decayed.

Long before that, (as in orders of magnitude) unless the universe is closed, all matter will be a thin vacuum punctuated by supermassive black holes slowly fizzling their substance away through Hawking radiation at a few degrees above absolute zero.

So be sure to pack warm socks.
 
2012-11-08 05:39:14 AM  
Also, if you have problems visualizing orders of magnitude, I'd like to recommend a really nifty 10 minute film. It's a little dated, but well worth it regardless.
 
2012-11-08 05:44:21 AM  

dready zim: If anyone asks, this is how you define the age of an atom. By it`s half life and decay rate.


Please demonstrate that the atom actually behaves differently because of it. Are you claiming that, say, carbon dioxide formed faster in the past, or acted differently? Are you saying you can predict when a particular atom will decay because you know how "old" it is? You seem ... ignorant... to be charitable about it. So go ahead, make a machine to sort carbon atoms into old and young. Are the carbon atoms in your body old or young? Why are you old or young?

Anyways,

http://io9.com/5957032/17-things-to-do-when-life+extension-technology - makes-you-immortal?tag=superlist

See, told you. You wanna go worship the Galaxy, you have to live long enough to do so. What you expect to see there given that chemical elements are the same everywhere and physics too, I have no idea.

Unless that on top of atoms having an age, you think that there will different and magical elements in the universe depending on the location????

Do tell, I'm on tenterhooks.
 
2012-11-08 05:51:02 AM  
That's scary and difficult to understand, so I'm going with 'God did it'.
 
2012-11-08 06:01:18 AM  
Quantum Apostrophe:

dready zim: If anyone asks, this is how you define the age of an atom. By it`s half life and decay rate.

Please demonstrate that the atom actually behaves differently because of it. Are you claiming that, say, carbon dioxide formed faster in the past, or acted differently? Are you saying you can predict when a particular atom will decay because you know how "old" it is? You seem ... ignorant... to be charitable about it. So go ahead, make a machine to sort carbon atoms into old and young. Are the carbon atoms in your body old or young? Why are you old or young?

Anyways,

http://io9.com/5957032/17-things-to-do-when-life+extension-technology - makes-you-immortal?tag=superlist

See, told you. You wanna go worship the Galaxy, you have to live long enough to do so. What you expect to see there given that chemical elements are the same everywhere and physics too, I have no idea.

Unless that on top of atoms having an age, you think that there will different and magical elements in the universe depending on the location????

Do tell, I'm on tenterhooks.


Your profile seems to start from a flawed premise. I don't think it much matters what the age of a carbon atom is in your young, healthy body or your inevitable worm-riddled corpse. It's all carbon, and it certainly doesn't matter to the worms.

Also, your "1)" is just goofy... Ice cores or "carbon dating" don't measure the age of individual atoms, they *can* tell you aggregate figures on how much of isotope A exists in a sample vs. isotope B, and that can in fact tell you something about the history of anything that absorbs said isotopes while it was active. Are you sure you know what you're talking about? You're certainly not communicating it well.
 
2012-11-08 06:50:57 AM  
Oh man, I hope there won't be a quiz on this later. Dammit, why am I just wearing my underwear?
 
2012-11-08 07:07:55 AM  
If the above is correct, then all the particles should decay at nearly the same time, since they were all brought into existence at nearly the same time. One has to wonder how that would happen. All the things associated with our universe, everything - even our afterlives, gone in a few moments of disintegration. No heaven, no hell, no thoughts, no traces... Just a few singularities forever dark and passive - their last bits of information slowly evaporating from their event horizons, and slowly cooling leptons dispersing sadly like the watery remnants of a soap bubble. The only thing we can hope for is that somewhere, somehow, someone blows another bubble, and that some form of strange attraction draws the essense of who and what we were to occupy that universe for a few moments.

Of course, Like is said in the Superlist a few articles earlier, what we don't know about the universe is vast. What we know now is like a single quark compared to the entirety of all the quarks that make up the universe... When you think of it that way, that all the things we "know" don't even add up to compose an entire atom or even subatomic particle when compared to the potential of the entire universe of matter and energy... well... lets just say there's lots of room for hope and learning.
 
2012-11-08 07:13:45 AM  

Eddie Ate Dynamite: *reads article*
*blinks*

So...hey guys, did you hear they legalized weed in two states?


How do you think that article was written?
 
2012-11-08 07:46:12 AM  
...and this is why you don't go to io9 for science articles, and frankly why I wish Fark would stop greening science links to io9.

io9's motto should be "Hard on science fiction, soft on the causes of science fiction".
 
2012-11-08 07:55:18 AM  
Is that the dong nebula? Seriously, has no one else seen the interstellar wang in that photo?
 
2012-11-08 08:43:38 AM  

blipponaut: Is that the dong nebula? Seriously, has no one else seen the interstellar wang in that photo?


Where, behind the dementor?
 
2012-11-08 09:12:41 AM  

Eddie Ate Dynamite: *reads article*
*blinks*

So...hey guys, did you hear they legalized weed in two states?


How does that work anyways? Is it just legal now or do politicians have to finalise some stuff?
 
2012-11-08 09:33:26 AM  
czetie:

...and this is why you don't go to io9 for science articles, and frankly why I wish Fark would stop greening science links to io9.

io9's motto should be "Hard on science fiction, soft on the causes of science fiction".


Well, yeah, I should hope not. But this article actually did better than most popular science recountings.
 
2012-11-08 09:45:01 AM  
Under the Grand Unified Theory, baryons could be converted into leptons. Baryon number and lepton number are no longer conserved.

Except lepton number is a function of baryon number, and vice versa, since they have some equivalence, so in the end, they are conserved.
 
2012-11-08 09:45:29 AM  

uttertosh: If the above is correct, then all the particles should decay at nearly the same time, since they were all brought into existence at nearly the same time.


You probably don't understand the concept of half-life.
 
2012-11-08 10:07:18 AM  

WelldeadLink: uttertosh: If the above is correct, then all the particles should decay at nearly the same time, since they were all brought into existence at nearly the same time.

You probably don't understand the concept of half-life.


You probably didn't read the comments at the bottom of the article.
 
2012-11-08 10:22:21 AM  
d8p7bwma8u8p9.cloudfront.net
 
2012-11-08 10:28:38 AM  

WelldeadLink: uttertosh: If the above is correct, then all the particles should decay at nearly the same time, since they were all brought into existence at nearly the same time.

You probably don't understand the concept of half-life.


head crabs bad. Crowbar good. What else do you need to know?
 
2012-11-08 11:25:27 AM  
i think i just ended up in a roadside ditch.
 
2012-11-08 11:28:27 AM  
Whenever I need a misinformed, poorly conceived article that sensationalizes something that isn't a big deal, I go to a Gawker website.

Oh wait, I never need those.

/drtfa
 
2012-11-08 11:34:13 AM  

MasterPython: How does that work anyways? Is it just legal now or do politicians have to finalise some stuff?


The federal government sues the state government over the constitutionality of the law. The fed says only they can say if it's legal or not, and the state will say that if they wanted government control over it, they should have gotten a constitutional amendment, as anything that is not specifically written into it becomes a state issue.
 
2012-11-08 11:46:47 AM  
And AC said: "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" And there was light--
 
2012-11-08 12:13:09 PM  

fluffy2097: MasterPython: How does that work anyways? Is it just legal now or do politicians have to finalise some stuff?

The federal government sues the state government over the constitutionality of the law. The fed says only they can say if it's legal or not, and the state will say that if they wanted government control over it, they should have gotten a constitutional amendment, as anything that is not specifically written into it becomes a state issue.


Gov. vs. Gov? You can't explain that.
 
2012-11-08 12:15:44 PM  
Lord AO is not pleased.
 
2012-11-08 12:24:08 PM  
Clearly this will lead to a twelve dimensional breakdown of subluminous resonate harmonics leading to an inversion of time and space causing a reboot of matter and energy in another iteration of the infinite universal cycle of death and rebirth.

Also, io9 sucks.
 
2012-11-08 12:26:09 PM  
The Nothing is coming...
 
2012-11-08 01:10:47 PM  
Screw it all then...I'm taking Friday off!
 
2012-11-08 01:54:53 PM  
It's worse than that, because there's only one particle in the entire universe, it just gets around hyperdimensionally, so if if decays at any point, it decays at all points. The universe would pop like the soap bubble it really is.
 
2012-11-08 03:12:51 PM  

Quantum Apostrophe: What you expect to see there given that chemical elements are the same everywhere and physics too


Laws of Physics Vary Throughout the Universe, New Study Suggests

The measure of the age of an atom is take by measuring the expansion of the universe. More distance between the elemental particles will lead to a value you can call `age` and could very likely make it respond differently to phenomena

I`ll do you two for one. Now you say what`s working currently in the world of life extension? What treatment, product or device is proven to lengthen life (not including just healthy living of course)
 
2012-11-08 03:14:35 PM  

Grotesk: It's worse than that, because there's only one particle in the entire universe, it just gets around hyperdimensionally, so if if decays at any point, it decays at all points. The universe would pop like the soap bubble it really is.


Space is an illusion, we are just the one particle that gained self awareness and made the universe. The higgs boson.

Heavy.
 
2012-11-08 04:39:35 PM  

dready zim: Space is an illusion, we are just the one particle that gained self awareness and made the universe. The higgs boson.

Heavy.


Kind of makes you wanna think twice before throwing away that scribble drawing you made absently while chatting on the phone, don't it? You might be throwing away a sentient universe.
 
2012-11-08 05:13:57 PM  

Smoking GNU: You've got to be kidding me, Subby! I've been further even more decided to use even go need to do look more as anyone can. Can you really be far even as decided half as much to use go wish for that? My guess is that when one really been far even as decided once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like. It's just common sense.


i think that just gave me hepatitis
 
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