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Strangely charmed

A visit to a nuclear power plant while in my teens originally introduced me to the idea of substituting the periodicity in the periodic table of the elements with neutron count to give a sense of the known isotopes for each element.  But, while previously aware of strangeness, my periodic dips into 21st century particle physics had not previously acquainted me with the existence of a three-dimensional non-periodic table of the elements, splaying nuclides out according to their atomic number and neutron count and then stacking them up the more strange they got.

The discovery this month of an antihypernucleus, strange antimatter with an antistrange quark, started building this table down instead of up, adding stuff in the opposite direction from the stuff that is perpendicularly arranged from all the stuff that I have in my house.

I, for one, applaud the terrestrial creation of hydrogen that is measurably less strange than everything else I’ve ever owned.  It even appears to be colour-coded magenta so I can easily identify it when I encounter it.

Posted via email from ert’s posterous

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