Longevity. Xenon 124. Universe.

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Theory predicts the isotope’s radioactive decay has a half-life that surpasses the age of the universe “by many orders of magnitude,” but no evidence of the process has appeared until now.

An international team of physicists that includes three Rice University researchers – assistant professor Christopher Tunnell, visiting scientist Junji Naganoma and assistant research professor Petr Chaguine – have reported the first direct observation of two-neutrino double electron capture for xenon 124, the physical process by which it decays. Their paper appears this week in the journal Nature.

While most xenon isotopes have half-lives of less than 12 days, a few are thought to be exceptionally long-lived, and essentially stable. Xenon 124 is one of those, though researchers have estimated its half-life at 160 trillion years as it decays into tellurium 124. The universe is presumed to be merely 13 to 14 billion years old.

The new finding puts the half-life of Xenon 124 closer to 18 sextillion years. (For the record, that’s 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.) (1)

We look up to the universe.

We admire the cosmos in awe.

But the cosmos is nothing more than the shell.

What is in it, is important.

Even particles can outlive the universe.

What matters is what cannot.

One day we will discover how huge the cosmos really is.

One day we will know how tiny we actually are.

And only then, will we understand that we were wrong.

About how significant we are.

Especially because we are not…

Author: skakos

Spiros Kakos (or Spyros Kakos or Spyridon Kakos) [Σπύρος Κάκος] is a thinker located in Athens, Greece. He has been the Chief Editor of Harmonia Philosophica since its inception. Spiros has a diploma in Chemical Engineering, an MSc in Advanced Materials' Technology, an MBA in Decisions' Science, a phD in the use of conductive polymers in PCB industry and is still learning. He also worked as a technical advisor and a researcher in the Advanced Materials sector for many years in the past. In his free time he develops software solutions and contributes to the open source community. He is the creator of Huo Chess, one of the smallest micro-chess programs ever that is perfect for educational purposes. He believes that science and religion are two sides of the same coin and is profoundly interested in Religion and Science philosophy, as well as the philosophy of the irrational. His philosophical work is mainly concentrated on an effort to free thinking of "logic" and reconcile all philosophical opinions under the umbrella of the "One" that Parmenides - one of the first thinkers - visualized. Since our thought is dictated by our assumptions, the only way to free it and know cosmos as it is, is to think irrationally and destroy everything we have built. The "Harmonia Philosophica" articles program is the tool that will accomplish that. Life's purpose is to be defeated by greater things. And the most important things in life are illogical. We must fight the dogmatic belief in "logic" if we are to stay humans. We should stop thinking in order to think. Credo quia absurdum! View all posts by skakos