The year 2013 has been an awesome year for science. It began with one of the greatest discoveries ever made in physics. Ended this month with the mind-blowing discovery about the history of the human species. Kwentologist is here with three of the greatest discoveries of the 2013.
Why Everything Has Mass?
Well, you know it's been a good year. When it starts off with discovery about what makes us to have mass? On March 14, physicist with CERN the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Announced their confirmation of the particle they suspected had been discovered in the summer of 2012. After two years of smashing trillions of photons together with the largest particle accelerator ever. They succeeded in generating enough energy to conjure up the Higgs boson.
According to theory proposed by Francois Englert and Peter Higgs in 1964. A field called the Higgs field permeates the universe. So, when that particles interact with this field. We perceive that interaction as mass. The Higgs boson was thought to be a physical indicator of that field existence. So, since mass and energy are equivalent to generate enough energy could theoretically turn a particle from the Higgs field into an observable mass having particle it only for an instant. CERN physicists did the math to predict how much mass of particle would have and how would it decay.
In the late June last year, when they finally produced a particle with the predicted mass a 126 times the size of a proton. Still, it took nine more months for the greatest minds in the world to calculate whether it decayed at the exact pattern they predicted—and it did!
In addition to corroborating the theory of why everything we think on that stuff has mass? Finding the Higgs also helps fill in some important gaps in the standard model of physics. Let's set some assumptions that we have about how the universe works.
There are Lots of Drinkable Water on Planet Mars
What discovery could be more interesting than that? Probably, nothing—it's just a sure proof of past life on Mars. Which Curiosity didn't do—at least yet. Our favorite rover has been brought in Gale Crater since it landed there in August 2012. Looking for evidence that Mars once had life or may even now be able to sustain it. So, this year they discovered plenty of evidence of one of life's favorite things—water.
In February, it centers images of ancient dried-up streambed. Then, took the first ever sample from another world drilling into a rock dubbed rocknest. Rocknest was found to be rich in so-called six life-sustaining elements;
It was made of mudstone. A type of stone that only forms in wet, non-salty, pH neutral environments. Basically, nice, fresh drinkable water that kinda stuff you want coming out your tap. Then in September, Curiosity took its first to scoop up soil and found to be 2% off water by weight. Which is really high because Mars is super windy. It's like a giant mixer. So. scientists think that this soil sample is representative of the entire planet.
Also, experts say that this means that theoretically future explorers. Maybe able to get all the water they need just by heating up some soil. Then, earlier this month Curiosity released another load of data that reinforce February's results. In a new location, even more features formed by water and a new sample mudstone from rock called sheepbed.
The prevalent in this mudstone in Gale Crater led researchers to conclude that it was once a giant lake. The complexity of its water-shaped formations make them think the lake was around for a long time. Maybe hundreds of thousands of years. So, our favorite robot explorer has something to tells us. Curiosity will continue to surprise us in 2014.
Ancient Human-like Species Has Been Identified
Finally, back on Earth we discovered new members our evolutionary family. Pulled off the monumental task of sequencing the entire genome of Neanderthal. We've only done this for 69 living human beings. But, anthropologist from the Max Planck Institute in Germany were able to do it using material from a 280,000-year-old toe bone discovered in a Siberian cave.
Having sequenced the genome their work is far from over. Thery'e now comparing its contents with our own genome and those other ancestors. To learn about the changes that took place along our evolutionary path. The results will be available within the next year. So, just keep visiting us and maybe we'll be telling you about them soon. When we talk about the greatest discoveries of 2014.
On top of that, an even older human ancestor was identified this month. Human remains were found in a cave in northern Spain back in the 90's. But, it wasn't until this year that anthropologist look at it might a Neanderthal DNA and realize the remains were 400,000 years old. Making it the oldest DNA from a human-like species ever recovered.
Some suggest that the specimen is a member of Homo Heidelbergensis. While others think it was a Denisovans, a close relative to Neanderthals whose remains have only been found in Asia. But, do we know more about its genetic makeup? Nobody can be sure what kind of human ancestor it is. Sometimes the most intriguing discoveries are ones that provide us not with new answers. But new questions.
Just a Short Refreshing Summary for Year 2013
So, as a recap in this year 2013. [1.] We discovered why we have mass? Which is so fundamental. [2.] It sounds absurd to say that there was once and still has lots and lots and lots of water on Mars. [3.] We learned as much information as we possibly could learn about any individual living or dead from a 280,000 year-old toe and possibly discovered a whole new kind of person.
So, what discovery shock to impress you this year? Tell us on the comment below.