These discoveries announced by 2022 could be game changers, if we’re to be sure. New things this year have left us wondering…
Is there a new physics around the corner?
The measurement of the mass of an elementary particle called the W boson has physicists holding its breath. Data from the Collider Detector at Fermilab, or CDF, suggest a faster particle theory (SN: 5/7/22 & 5/21/22, p. 12). If so, the discovery would be the kind of crack that researchers have been looking for in the model of particle physics. The theory successfully describes the basic elements of our universe but does not explain how gravity holds itself together. Whether the discovery unravels with further measurements or points the way to a new and better understanding of matter remains to be seen.
Old Macdonald cypress?
Root-chewing eastern pocket gophers (Geomys pinetis) they tend the tunnels as farmers tend their fields, the scholars asked (SN Online: 7/14/22). Gophers, which live in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, spread their droppings in burrows, simply pulling off and gnawing at existing roots. All this encourages new roots to grow, and therefore provides future food. But some researchers say gophers are unaware of environmental changes that aren’t accounting for agriculture. For now it is an open question whether any mammals but humans cultivate crops.
Do our bones show roots?
There is no doubt that the excavations of a leg and two arms unearthed in Chad in 2001 are a window into the past. But what they can say about our evolution is a matter of great contention. The bones date back to about 7 million years ago Sahelanthropus tchadensis and confirm that the correct species walked, as reported by scientists (SN: 9/24/22, p. 7). That conclusion ties the status of the species to the earliest known hominid, the scientists argue. Other early hominin proposals are much younger, from about 5 million to 6 million years ago. But some scientists say that the 7-million-year-old bones do not clearly indicate bipedal walking and rather belong to an ancient ape. With all the uncertainty, this discovery goes back even further.
Are there tetraneutrons?
Scientists have been on the hunt for six decades. We have now seen the four illusions for the first time: a cluster of four neutrons is called a tetraneutron.SN Online: 6/22/22). These ferns seem to last in a fleeting moment, less than a million times a second in an experiment reported this year. Cluster research can be of benefit to researchers who want to know how neutrons behave in atomic nuclei. Disagreements between the various theoretical calculations leave some experts who believe that the tetraneutron also exists.
Is it a hybrid monkey mystery?
The odd-looking antestes would have been spotted in Borneo some six years ago as a rare hybrid. But researchers won’t be sure until they can collect animal droppings for genetic analysis (SN: 6/18/22, p. 11). Photographs suggest that the primate’s mother is a silver leaf monkey (Trachypithecus cristatushis father is a proboscis monkey (Nasal masks). If it is true, it is about coupling. The mating across species suggests the two species are under extreme pressure, probably from deforestation of the palm oil plants that share the monkeys’ habitat along the Kinabatangan River.
Did humans arrive in Europe early?
Humans migrated to Europe 56,800 years ago, scientists reported from rock finds in southern France. He found them to put A wise man on the continent about 10,000 years earlier than previously thought and long before the Neanderthals died out.SN: 3/12/22, p. 9). The removal of Neanderthals, the work suggests, may have been a more complex and drawn-out process than accomplished. The researchers suggest that H. wise not only did he trade the occupation of the place with the Neanderthals, but he also took the tips of the rescue. However, the evidence is based on a human tooth and tools that other researchers say could have been made by Neanderthals.
Has the ring been photographed?
Remember that first stunning picture of a black hole, discovered in 2019 by the Horizon telescope team? The shadow of the galaxy M87 shows the black hole in its hot matter. Well, astrophysicists announced this year that they had invaded the ring within the ring of M87, a bright circle of orbiting photons surrounded by a black hole before flying back to Earth.SN: 9/24/22, p. 8). This “photon ring” would provide a new way to prove what we know about gravity, but some researchers have been critical of the method used to identify the ring. Open detection of the photon ring could await space telescopes to join efforts to image the black hole.
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