Nuclear

Australian Map of Nuclear and Uranium Sites

Trying to embed the map into this blog post has been a small saga unfolding over the last two days, and it looks like it cannot as yet be done. Not a huge problem though, really.

A .pdf version of the map can be found here

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‘Platyhelminth’

A word came up, from the depths of memory, while I cleaned Barramundi tanks today.

It was quite persistent, making its presence well known in my mind for some time.

But what does it mean?

I didn’t know. I couldn’t stop and look it up either because I had work to do.

This sort of thing happens to me from time to time.

A word that I’ve picked up somewhere along the way gets etched in my memory and suddenly hops back into the forefront of my mind. No obvious cue or association precedes it. No cause prior to the effect and no meaning attached, just the word.The string of letters and the pronunciation.

All there, like a title card, but sans any particular significance — except its presence and the curiosity it invokes.

Today ‘platyhelminth‘ manifested in the meat attic between my ears

So what does it mean?

I didn’t know at the time, but I have since found out.

I did have a vague feeling that it had something to do with the ocean.

The platyheminthes are a taxonomic phylum: the flatworms.

Some are found in aquatic environments, the oceans, rivers, swamps, puddles. Others are found in the digestive system of other animals. A few are terrestrial dwelling creatures that inhabit leaf-litter and other shady, humid environments.

Here’s an article about researchers studying planarian flatworms in order to understand their amazing regenerative biology

 

 

 

 

 

 

New element names

The periodic table is fascinating. The mystique, the awe, the curiosity it inspires. Superficially, it’s a sort of grid with some squares missing, but the more you read into and learn what the layout means, the more you realise just how much information is packed in there. Each element is a unique arrangement of subatomic particles ― protons, neutrons and electrons ― beginning with Hydrogen having 1 of each, through to Uranium with 92 of each, and beyond. What is the periodic table but the most elegant scientific infographic, a masterpiece of representation, of condensed empirical knowledge?

There’s something intrinsically  awe-inspiring about the names of elements too. Or is it their elementary nature? Building blocks of the Universe and all that.

‘Dysprosium’

‘Praseodymium’

‘Technetium’

‘Niobium’

‘Iodine’

‘Xenon’

Very charming. They inspire and captivate me.

One day I’d like to create pieces of music about them.

Recently I found out that a few synthetic elements had been officially confirmed and given proper names.  Until this occurs, these elements are given systematic placeholder names based on their atomic number. So element number 113 was referred to as ‘Ununtrium’ which is  Un-un-tri (1, 1, 3) and the elemental suffix –ium.

Element 114 was known as ‘Ununquadium’, 115 was ‘Ununpentium’ and so on. Theoretically you can keep going higher and higher like you can with polygon names: (triangle, quadrangle, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, undecagon, dodecagon, etc).

Isn’t this fun!

Elements 114 and 116 were given the names Flerovium and Livermorium in 2012, and the symbols Fl and Lv.

In early 2016 four more synthetic elements were named:

113: Nihonium (Nh)

115: Moscovium (Mc)

117: Tennessine (Ts)

118: Oganesson (Og)

The body that oversees the naming process, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) will formalise these changes in November 2016, until then the proposed names are open for public comment.