Iron in Egyptian relics came from space : Nature News & Comment

Iron in Egyptian relics came from space : Nature News & Comment.

-extracts from the article-

The result, published on 20 May in Meteoritics & Planetary Science1, explains how ancient Egyptians obtained iron millennia before the earliest evidence of iron smelting in the region, solving an enduring mystery. It also hints that they regarded meteorites highly as they began to develop their religion.

Microscopy showed that the nickel content of this original metal was high — as much as 30% — suggesting that it did indeed come from a meteorite. Backing up this result, the team observed that the metal had a distinctive crystalline structure called a Widmanstätten pattern. This structure is found only in iron meteorites that cooled extremely slowly inside their parent asteroids as the Solar System was forming.

Using tomography, the researchers built up a three-dimensional model of the bead’s internal structure, revealing that the ancient Egyptians had made it by hammering a fragment of iron from the meteorite into a thin plate, then bending it into a tube.

Campbell Price, a curator of Egypt and Sudan at the Manchester Museum who was not a member of the study team, emphasizes that nothing is known for certain about the Egyptians’ religious beliefs before the advent of writing. But he points out that later on, during the time of the pharaohs, the gods were believed to have bones made of iron.

He speculates that meteorites may have inspired this belief, the celestial rocks being interpreted as the physical remains of gods falling to Earth.

Dark-matter detector hears first particle pops | symmetry magazine

 

Dark-matter detector hears first particle pops | symmetry magazine.

– extracts from the article –

The COUPP-60 experiment, based a mile and a half underground at SNOLAB in Canada, searches for dark-matter particles passing through a heated mixture of purified water and CF3I, a chemical used in fire extinguishers. Particles passing through the liquid interact with it, leaving behind a small amount of energy—just enough to cause the liquid to boil.

Dark-matter particles, which scientists think rarely interact with other matter, should form individual bubbles in the COUPP-60 tank, while regular-matter particles such as neutrons interact with atoms in the liquid much more often and should leave a trail of multiple bubbles as they pass through.